Tourism Minister Lisa Beare (Hansard TV)

B.C. dropped from North America bid for World Cup soccer

Security, B.C. Place upgrade costs unknown, Tourism Minister Lisa Beare says

B.C. has been dropped from the Canada-U.S.-Mexico bid for the 2026 World Cup of soccer, after refusing to sign on to unknown costs.

Tourism Minister Lisa Beare confirmed Wednesday that B.C.’s application to include Vancouver in the bid was rejected, because the costs to the province could have been increased at any time. In particular there were “very serious concerns” about the agreement to use B.C. Place stadium to host games, including unknown security and renovation costs.

The bid committee wanted to give FIFA [the World Cup governing body] the ability to “unilaterally change the stadium agreement at any point,” Beare said. “We’re looking at possible stadium upgrade costs, the turf field that has to be in place. None of these concerns were addressed by the bid committee.”

North America is competing with Morocco to host the 2026 tournament, one of the biggest sporting events in the world.

B.C. Liberal MLA Jas Johal said it’s a setback for tourism that B.C. is the only province that couldn’t make a deal for the three-country bid.

“The former government worked hard with the City of Vancouver, sports organizations and the tourism sector to realize this opportunity,” Johal said. “British Columbians, who will now have to reserve a spot on the sofa instead of the stadium, deserve to know why the B.C. NDP bailed on a chance to market British Columbia to the world.”

Just Posted

Kelowna summit will connect employers and immigrants

A session will be held tomorrow from 12 to 3 p.m. at the downtown library

West Kelowna resident missing

Police are concerned for the health and well-being of a 21-year-old West Kelowna man

Jurors set to deliberate on Kelowna murder trial

“He was mad as a hatter…”

Okanagan Death Café Series set for April

Last spring nearly a hundred people decided that they wanted to converse about death and dying

Stargate armour debuts at Kelowna expo

The Kelowna Fan Experience will feature Jaffa armour from Stargate SG-1

Your March 22 Morning Brief

Check out the top stories of the day in the Okanagan-Shuswap with Carmen Weld’s Black Press Morning Brief.

B.C. gives tax breaks to jumpstart LNG in northwest

LNG income tax scrapped, break on sales tax for producers

Canadian Ski Racing awards for Serwa, Okanagan Ski Club

Olympic gold medalist Kelsey Serwa is named Ski Cross Female Athlete of Year

Rupert the therapy bunny sidelined due to deadly virus outbreak

Chilliwack’s famous therapy rabbit quarantined for his own safety, people not at risk

Update: Vehicle flips several times after hitting semi

Police say Chevrolet Cobalt struck side of transport truck, driver’s injuries not life-threatening

BCHL Today: Wenatchee goes Wild against Vernon Vipers

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

B.C’s Indigenous tourism takes centre stage in Chilliwack

One-day workshop will look at ways to imbue the industry with authenticity

B.C. landlords collect too much personal information, watchdog says

Report suggests low vacancy rates lead landlords to believe they can collect whatever info they want

Most Read