NEW YORK: Hosting the 2026 World Cup could generate more than $5bn in short-term economic activity according to a study from Boston Consulting Group, a leading global management consulting firm.
Canada, Mexico and the United States are bidding to host the 48-team tournament in 2026, which will be the largest in FIFA World Cup™ history. The overall net benefit to the region would be $3 – $4 billion.
The study further estimates that individual host cities could expect to see approximately $160-$620m in incremental economic activity , including supporting approximately 40,000 jobs and more than $1 billion in incremental worker earnings across North America.
That would translate to a net benefit of approximately $90-$480m per city after accounting for potential public costs.
Peter Montopoli, Canada bid director and general secretary of Canada Soccer, said: “One of the strongest arguments in favor of the United Bid is the certainty that we provide to FIFA and its Member Associations.
“As this study demonstrates, our hosting of the first ever 48-team World Cup will yield benefits to all three of our nations, and the global soccer community.
The variation in impact among the candidate host cities in all three countries is the result of differences in the number of matches hosted, venue capacity, current levels of tourism, cost of living, city population, and geographic size.
In its analysis, BCG built projections for seven distinct clusters of candidate cities, drawing on benchmarks, expert interviews, third-party research, and its own experience working with other sports organizations.
In conducting the study, BCG sought to isolate the World Cup effects from economic activity that would happen anyway, such as ongoing infrastructure improvements and regular international tourism. The assessment also incorporates the ripple effects of new direct spending in order to project total impact.
Canada, Mexico, and the United States will be making history if chosen by FIFA Congress on June 13, the first time that matches have been hosted in three different nations.
The 2026 games will already be charting unprecedented territory, as FIFA has announced an expanded format for the event: the number of matches will increase from 64 to 80 and the number of qualifying teams will grow from 32 to 48.
Morocco is the only other nation that has formally declared its intention to submit a bid.