World Cup 2026: Toronto's new stadium will be an addition to the training base
source: StadiumDB.com; author: Maciek Ściłba
Toronto will be one of two Canadian cities to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup. It has been recently announced that an intimate venue will be built in the city, along with a modern training facility, in addition to the upgrade of BMO Field.
The next tournament that will determine the best team in the world will for the first time ever be held in three countries. The format will be expanded to 48 teams, which involves the entry of 16 arenas. 11 of these are in the USA, with the remaining 5 in Mexico and Canada. Despite such a disparity in numbers, no one disputes the position of the USA as the main organiser. The Mexicans and Canadians will incur much lower costs in preparing the event thanks to that, and their fans will be able to feel like fully-fledged World Cup hosts.
Canada has finally chosen two stadiums. In addition to BC Place in Vancouver, the tournament will also take place at BMO Field in Toronto. Venue in the country's largest city is still too small and will have to be expanded. At the moment, it has a capacity of 30,000, but this will eventually rise to 45,000. The metropolitan authorities would like the enlarged arena not to be the only legacy of the event. They plan to build a new training centre along with a small venue to serve the local community after the event.
According to the preliminary design, the base will be built on the grounds of Woodbine Racetrack. It hosts the most important horsing race in Canada known as the "King's Plate" every year. It occupies only part of a vast 684-hectare site, which would be developed in a different way. Hence, it is the idea of the authorities of this track to dedicate a large part of it to modern football facilities. Although the plans were revealed as early as March 2022, it was not until late autumn that the first renderings prepared by modular construction studio SixFive Stadiums emerged.
Arena that is part of the complex is expected to seat 8,000. The natural grass pitch will meet all FIFA requirements. As is not difficult to guess, modular technology will be used, which meant that the design originally prepared by architects from Populous was almost entirely binned. The current company responsible for the conception and construction of the stadium claims that it takes only three months to work on such a structure. SixFive Stadiums argues that such a solution will become more common over time, due to the much lower costs compared to building structures based on concrete frameworks. They also stress that one of the advantages is that such arenas can easily be enlarged if necessary.
The entire training facility is expected to cover an area of 38,000 square metres and become the centre of men's and women's football in the city. York United FC is to become the main tenant. During the 2026 World Cup, it will certainly be used by one of the teams that will qualify for the tournament. The realisation of this project is also expected to be a huge opportunity for the residents of the Woodbine community. A sparsely populated surrounding area, the development would make the area an attractive place to live in the future and encourage new businesses, homes and entertainment venues. It is estimated that up to 17,000 new jobs would be created as a result.