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Vancouver re-enters World Cup 2026 picture

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Nothing is official yet, but if Vancouver ends up replacing Montreal in Canada’s bid that would seem to bode well for Seattle’s chances to host.

USA v Japan: Final - FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Back when the so-called United bid for the 2026 World Cup was getting finalized, Vancouver was among a list of cities that chose to drop out of consideration. At the time, British Columbia government officials cited costs as the driving force behind their decision. That seemed to be the end of that.

But with news that Montreal has dropped out of the bid — as well as the possibility that Edmonton could as well — an opening emerged. Asked if circumstances have changed enough in order for Vancouver to get back into the bid, B.C. Premier John Horgan says the province is in a “completely different situation.”

“The prospect of inviting the world to Vancouver in 2026 all of a sudden takes on a whole new meaning not just for those passionate about soccer but those that would want to see an opportunity to reacquaint the world with the splendour of British Columbia and particularly Vancouver.”

Not only is Vancouver in a different place, Horgan said, but FIFA’s demands seem to have gotten a bit more reasonable.

If Vancouver does end up as a host — which would be almost guaranteed if they formally enter the process — that would seemingly bode well for Seattle’s chances, as well. One of the only real criticisms against Seattle’s bid is that it would probably be the most remote of the U.S. host cities. Combined with Vancouver — and potentially Edmonton — it’s not at all hard to imagine teams rotating among the three cities for their group stage games, with fans able to move relatively easily among them.

Like Lumen Field, B.C. Place would likely require a temporary grass pitch to be installed. But the stadium has already been otherwise vetted by FIFA officials, having played host to several games — including the final — during the 2015 Women’s World Cup.