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Ontario will not give Toronto more money for FIFA World Cup

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The Ontario government has said they will not be providing Toronto with more funding as the cost for hosting the FIFA World Cup continues to rise.

“Our total commitment will not exceed $97 million,” a spokesperson for the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport said in a statement to CTV News Toronto.

“The decision to make this one-time investment was made after exercising due diligence and following careful review and consideration.”

A new city report has suggested the price-tag for hosting the global sporting event is now $380 million, about $80 million more than the original estimate two years ago.

The change has been attributed to inflationary price estimates, vendor quotes and safety requirements.

Toronto is set to host six FIFA World Cup games, while the rest of the tournament will be held in Vancouver, the U.S. and Mexico. The opening match will be on June 12, 2026.

The cost of the tournament is expected to be divided between all three levels of government, with the City of Toronto originally committing $90 million. Part of this has already been allotted towards the design and upgrades at BMO Field, where the matches will be held.

The federal government has yet to finalize how much they will be giving the city.

The province has said its support “is subject to agreements currently being negotiated and the commitment of the federal government.”

Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow acknowledged Monday that it is important to be both transparent and realistic when it comes to the financial costs of hosting a global sporting event.

“No one anticipated the rate of inflation today,” she said while in Ottawa.

City officials are arguing the trade-off is worth it, adding that the FIFA World Cup is expected to provide a gross domestic product benefit of about $392 million for Toronto and $456 million for Ontario.

The city is also considering directing some revenue from the municipal hotel tax to fund the tournament, in addition to exploring private-sector sponsorships.

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