The Task Force met this morning for its daily briefing, before departing for a tour of Nathan Phillips Square, one of Canada's largest public squares and a proposed FIFA Fan Fest™ site. The Square is a national and provincial landmark, having also hosted the Closing Ceremonies of the 2015 Parapan American Games.
Following the tour of Nathan Phillips Square, the Task Force then visited the BMO Training Ground-the training facility of Major League Soccer's 2017-18 Champion, Toronto Football Club, or Toronto FC. BMO Field, also known as the National Soccer Stadium, was built to host the FIFA U-20 Men's World Cup Canada 2007 and ushered in Major League Soccer to Canada. The stadium was the final stop on the day's tour and since opening in 2007, has been host to a number of major football events including the FIFA U-20 Men's World Cup Canada 2007™, FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup 2014™, 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup, and the MLS Cup Final in 2010, 2016, and 2017.
UNITY, OPPORTUNITY, AND CERTAINTY IN FOCUS
The United Bid is committed to embracing the concept of global unity in a real and tangible way-to demonstrate that three proud countries, connected through history, culture, geography, and partnership, can celebrate football's ability to inspire people around the world. Today's visit in Toronto-one of the United Bid's 23 qualified Candidate Host Cities-embodied these principles:
UNITY-The United Bid's vision of "Unity in Diversity" is reflected in the reality of Toronto. The city's population hails from 170 countries and speaks more than 140 languages and dialects. Toronto is the most diverse city in the world with nearly 50% of its population foreign born, and that quality is embodied in the city's Coat of Arms: Diversity Our Strength. The visitor experience at the 2026 FIFA World Cup™ will be rooted in a feeling that Toronto is "United" with FIFA World Cup™ visitors and athletes.
OPPORTUNITY-Toronto will contribute towards the prosperity, growth, and enthusiasm of the entire global football community and beyond, through staging an incredibly successful 2026 FIFA World Cup™. Canada has a strong history of record setting FIFA competitions which have accelerated the growth of the sport in the country. Considered a leader in women's football, Canada was the only FIFA Member Association to medal at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games. More than a dozen times since the 1970's, Toronto has hosted the largest Canadian football crowd of the year, including the 2017 MLS Cup which drew a capacity crowd of 30,584 at BMO Field.
CERTAINTY-The Places Rated Almanac ranks Toronto as the safest large metropolitan area in North America.The city has a great deal of experience hosting both sporting events and visitors-Toronto welcomed 41.9 million tourists in 2016, and is home to national tournaments, international sporting competitions, and entertainment each year. A city well versed in transporting visitors, Toronto has North America's 3rd largest public transit system (after New York City and Mexico City).