The public has been wondering how much hosting games in the 2026 FIFA World Cup will cost the cash-strapped City of Toronto — and it appears that the province will relieve some of the financial burden with a whopping $100 million towards the expected $300m price tag.
A letter leaked by Global News Thursday revealed that the Province is on board to cover up to $97 million of the costs to prep its biggest metropolis for the 5 to 10 of the tournament’s 106 games that will be held at BMO Field.
This support will come only from the Ford leadership if the Government of Canada agrees to put forward just as much, plus any additional funding needed for national concerns, such as safety and security.
Money ($100 million) for games (FIFA World Cup) at same time asking municipalities to audit #childcare programs for savings. Wrong priority #DougFord! #onpoli https://t.co/XUMZAupnKT
While soccer fans may be eagerly anticipating the monumental event, it seems most residents are pretty outraged that taxpayers will be on the hook for so much while it feels like government services are falling apart left and right as the quality of life in Ontario deteriorates.
As one person quipped in reaction to the news on X, “we may need to parent the government ‘you can have Olympics/World Cup bids after you finish your hospitals and schools.”
Some tagged Premier Doug Ford in particular, with one asking him how he can devote so many millions to the matches when hospitals in Ontario are “taking out loans to keep the lights on.”
we. need. healthcare. and. housing. not a fucking soccer game.
Indeed, yet another emergency room in the province just temporarily closed its emergency department this week, advising anyone requiring immediate care to call 911.
Meanwhile, residents are struggling to access basic medical care, with 2.3 million people without a family doctor provincewide, a number that is slated to double by the time FIFA rolls around.
Toronto alone currently needs more than 300 family doctors to meet demand.
Then there are the other issues: desperately needed housing, more support for our most vulnerable, and all-around better, more attainable food, services and more amid an affordability crisis of epic proportions.
100 million could go to homelessness and drug addiction etc instead of wasting money on FIFA.
While many are calling the move to spend so much on FIFA a “vanity stunt” that shows that our leaders do not have their priorities straight, Ford and his team have specified that the $97 million only be used for things like infrastructure upgrades that will benefit people of the city for years to come.
Ford has also asked the City to “limit public investment to the greatest extent possible”
The City, which has been trying to slash costs and increase revenue through things like a large property tax hike, is expected to be on the hook for another $100 million in costs associated with FIFA.
Ontario to pay a staggering $100 million to host FIFA World Cup in Toronto