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Vancouver 'still game' for World Cup bid despite cost concerns

15 March 2018

Vancouver, site of the 2015 Women's World Cup final, won't be included in the United 2026 bid that must be submitted to Federation Internationale de Football Association by Friday.

Vancouver has been dropped from the North American bid to host the 2026 World Cup, the provincial government confirmed on Wednesday.

This comes after the province raised concerns about cost, and after its requests for clarification were rejected by the committee.

An official news release is set to go out tomorrow.

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Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, said the province and United 2026 "couldn't agree to terms that would put British Columbians at risk of shouldering potentially huge and unpredictable costs".

Vancouver, Toronto, Edmonton and Montreal had been identified as potential candidate cities for the 10 games that Canada would host under the unified bid plan.

Horgan, however, said joining the bid is still an option and the province is in talks to find a solution that would see the handsome game come to BC Place in 2026.

The City of Vancouver signed off on being part of the bid in January.

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Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said his city had been willing.

The federal government threw its support behind the committee Tuesday with a promise of $5 million in immediate help if the bid wins. "Vancouver remains a city with an exceptional sports hosting history and we look forward to working with the province and our Sport Hosting Vancouver team to identify future worldwide sporting events that bring positive economic and cultural impact to Vancouver". "We're looking at possible stadium upgrade costs, the turf field that has to be in place".

"I hold no bitterness and I'm not close enough to the process to know what held (the B.C. government) back", he said. Their unified bid has to be submitted by the end of the week, and FIFA's decision is expected in mid-June.

"It is very disappointing that the World Cup could potentially be hosted by Canada, USA and Mexico and for B.C. not to be a part of it", said Elligott.

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Members across the aisle are criticizing the province for its hesitation, saying B.C.'s bid has been years in the making.

Vancouver 'still game' for World Cup bid despite cost concerns