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World Cup 2026: Who plays at BC Place?

BC Place has been selected as one of the two Canada-based venues for the upcoming 2026 World Cup, the other of which is the BMO Field.

The ground will host a total of six matches at the tournament across the group stages and the Round of 32.

BC Place selected as a venue for 2026 World Cup

General view of BC Place
Located in Vancouver, Canada, BC Place has a capacity of 54,405. Photo by Icon Sport

Who currently plays at BC Place?

Football as we know it in Europe is not as popular in North America, specifically in the United States and Canada, as it is here, and therefore, football (soccer)-specific stadiums are a rarity. BC Place is no different, and its multi-purpose design means that both a Canadian football side and a Major League Soccer team call the ground home.

The BC Lions compete in the Western Division of the Canadian Football League while Vancouver Whitecaps play in the Western Conference of the MLS.

Although it is home to both, the Lions first moved to BC Place in 1983, while the Vancouver Whitecaps moved to the stadium in 2011.

A brief history of BC Place

Initially, BC Place was designed and constructed as an indoor stadium, with its air-supported roof the largest of its kind at the time. However, in 2010, the ground underwent renovation, resulting in the installation of a retractable roof in its place.

Its grand opening took place on June 19, 1983, and the site was quickly put to the test, hosting its first-ever major event just a day later when Seattle Sounders made the trip to Vancouver to compete against the Whitecaps in the National American Soccer League.

A record attendance of 65,000 was set during an Ed Sheeran concert in 2023, although the ground's current maximum capacity for sporting events stands at 54,405.

What makes BC Place worthy of hosting a World Cup?

General view of BC Place in Vancouver
BC Place was the main stadium for the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. Photo by Icon Sport

Hospitality Pedigree

There are perhaps just two other sporting events in the world that are of a similar calibre to the World Cup, those being the Super Bowl and the Olympics. Therefore, the fact that BC Place has already proven itself as a capable host at this level when it was the main stadium at the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, is a good indicator that it is worthy of hosting a World Cup.

Aside from the 2010 Winter Olympics, the site has also been used as a venue for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, hosting multiple matches including the final.

Health and Safety

Similarly to the Gillette Stadium, BC Place also has received a GBAC Star – the first facility of its kind in Canada to do so. The accreditation was awarded to the ground for its outbreak prevention, response, and recovery process.,

In a post-Coronavirus world, hygiene is perhaps more important and more heavily scrutinised than ever before – particularly at an event the calibre of a World Cup, and therefore any venue must excel in this regard.

From this perspective, BC Place appears to be more than worthy of hosting multiple 2026 World Cup fixtures.

Technologically advanced

Finally, BC Place also excels from a technological standpoint. At 5,000 square feet, not only does it possess the largest centre-hung videoboard in the whole of Canada, but it also houses the largest permanent indoor LED screen in the entire world.

These features alone are perhaps not particularly impressive, but the pair combine with each other, as well as with a wide array of other mechanics, to provide spectators with an immersive viewing experience that can be rivalled by very few other stadiums across the globe.

Harry Dowsett

Freelance football writer with experience writing for multiple digital platforms, such as GIVEMESPORT. Recently graduated from Portsmouth University with a media studies degree - completing a dissertation on the evolution of sports journalism in the process. He has a love for Arsenal Football Club and a passion for football as a whole.

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