BC considers supporting joint World Cup bid, but 'not at any cost'

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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".

The rejection of the bid was met with disappointment from the City of Vancouver, which issued a statement Wednesday.

"While we support the prospect of hosting the World Cup, we can not agree to terms that would put British Columbians at risk of shouldering potentially huge and unpredictable costs", said Beare in a statement.

Expanded FIFA World Cup could include games in Vancouver.

Beare says the bid committee has rejected requests to clarify how much the province would be expected to contribute to the cost of hosting games.

Beare said the doors to B.C. Place Stadium will remain open to hosting 2026 World Cup games, but only if the bid committee reconsiders its demands and provides the province with more cost certainty.

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The Courier left a message with Victor Montagliani, a Vancouver member of the United 2026 bid committee, but it was not returned before this story was posted. "This is of course something fans would be looking forward to, but we have to take a look at all the opportunities surrounding it and all the risks surrounding it".

The federal government threw its support behind the committee Tuesday with a promise of $5 million in immediate help if the bid wins.

Federation Internationale de Football Association will vote to decide on the winning bid at their congress on June 13.

Collens' presentation was followed by a few words from Lenarduzzi, who successfully urged council to support the bid, saying "I don't want to downplay our importance as Canadians and as Vancouverites, but this opportunity is not coming along again". Held in six cities and provinces from coast to coast across Canada, 1.35 million spectators attended the last women's World Cup - a record for the event - with an economic impact of almost a half-a-billion dollars. "However, the city was all-in and hopeful that the federal and provincial governments would be able to arrive at a fair deal", he said in a statement.

"B.C. residents loves soccer, as do we at the province".