The City of Vancouver will be the first to use a “new tool” to help cover the costs of hosting FIFA World Cup 2026 matches, according to the province.
In the fall of 2022, the province said the city requested a temporary increase to the Municipal and Reginal District Tax (MRDT) on “short-term accommodations” to help with the costs of hosting the massive international tournament.
“In response, the province introduced changes to the Provincial Sales Tax Act so eligible communities can apply for an additional Major Events MRDT for as much as 2.5% on short-term accommodation sales,” B.C. Ministry of Finance staff said in a release.
“It is available to other local governments to help fund eligible major events with the potential to draw significant international visitation.”
The temporary tax could generate approximately $230 million in revenue over seven years, the province said.
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After consultation with the local accommodation sector, the City of Vancouver, Destination Vancouver and the Province agreed to a Major Events MRDT rate of 2.5 per cent over seven years to help pay for planning, staging and hosting FIFA 2026 matches.
Overnight visitors in Vancouver will be subject to an additional $2.50 charge on each $100 paid on short-term accommodations beginning Feb. 1, 2023.
B.C.’s finance minister Katrine Conroy said the province is happy to support Vancouver in hosting the world-renown event.
“We are thrilled Vancouver is a host city to FIFA 2026 and pleased with the collaboration that has already taken place to help ensure this event is a success,” she said.
“Similar to how the province helped Whistler fund its 2010 Winter Olympics, we’re grateful for all our partners who are working together to give soccer fans, people in the tourism sector, and all British Columbians this once-in-a-generation opportunity.”
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The B.C. government said that the temporary tax is a tool that communities around B.C. can apply for provided they meet the province’s criteria for major internationally recognized events.
“We’re so excited to be hosting the FIFA World Cup 2026, one of the world’s largest sporting events, here in Vancouver,” said Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim.
“Vancouver has welcomed the world on many occasions, but this global celebration of soccer and national pride is an extraordinary opportunity. The economic impacts and benefits to Vancouver will be felt in the leadup to the FIFA World Cup, throughout the event, and long after the final whistle blows in 2026.”
Destination BC estimates that the FIFA 2026 opportunity in B.C. could result in an increase of more than 250,000 visitors, with approximately 50 per cent of them from outside Canada and the U.S.
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Last summer, FIFA announced the 2026 World Cup tournament would see 48-teams play in cities across North America, including Vancouver and Toronto, as well as American cities of Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Kansas City, Dallas, Atlanta, Houston, Boston, Philadelphia, Miami and New York/New Jersey. In Mexico, matches will be held in Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara.
Edmonton had been in the running to be a host city for the tournament but missed the cut.
— with files from Canadian Press
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