Canada Soccer has announced that the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015™ and the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2014 supported an impressive CAD 493.6 million in economic activity for Canada – exceeding preliminary projections made in February 2014 by 46 per cent.

The total initial expenditure for both competitions was CAD 216 million, which generated CAD 249 million in net economic activity (GDP) and brought CAD 97.6 million in tax revenues. Of the CAD 97.6 million in tax revenues supported, CAD 46 million accrued to the federal government, CAD 36.7 million to the provincial governments and CAD 14.9 million to the official host cities.

The figures released today by Canada Soccer follow a study conducted using an assessment tool provided by the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance.

Canada hosted the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 between 6 June and 5 July 2015 in six host cities from coast to coast: Vancouver, British Columbia; Edmonton, Alberta; Winnipeg, Manitoba; Ottawa, Ontario; Montreal, Quebec; and Moncton, New Brunswick. Unprecedented global television audiences and media interest, as well as record-breaking digital and social media figures ensured that the tournament would be remembered as a landmark event for Canada and the development of the game. The FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014 was also a success, staged from 5 to 24 August 2014 in Edmonton, Alberta; Toronto, Ontario; Montreal, Quebec; and Moncton, New Brunswick.

“On behalf of Canada Soccer, we would like to thank all of our funding partners for their support to successfully stage the largest single sporting event ever hosted in Canada,” said Victor Montagliani, President Canada Soccer. “Without their early commitment to the hosting of these competitions and their outstanding support throughout, along with that of the Canadian soccer community, we could not have had such a profound impact on not only our economy, but also on our country and women’s sport in Canada and around the world.”

The FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 set a new total attendance record (1,353,506) for a FIFA competition other than the FIFA World Cup™ and the new study has shown that it attracted thousands of out-of-town spectators. More than 84,000 visitors made one or more day trips while 174,000 visitors made an overnight visit to one of the official host cities. The study also showed that a total of 96,600 USA fans crossed the border. Spending by all of these visitors, combined with that of the 36,600 out of town visitors who were among the nearly 300,000 spectators at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Canada 2014, were reflected in the positive results of the economic impact assessment.

The two competitions were supported by more than 2,500 volunteers, representing over 100 nationalities, who collectively contributed in excess of 153,000 hours of their time to ensure the success of the events.

“The record crowds and TV audiences for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 not only united us from coast to coast but also with the rest of the world,” commented Peter Montopoli, Chief Executive Officer for Canada 2015. “As we strived ‘to a greater goal’ both on and off the field of play, the legacy of these two competitions will have an impact for the sport, women and our country for years to come.”

With the support of FIFA and Canada Soccer, the country now boasts 18 FIFA 2-Star RECOMMENDED training fields. The women’s game continues to advance in Canada thanks in large part to the highly competitive North American National Women’s Soccer League, as well as the set-up of regional EXCEL Centres. It is hoped that the more than one thousand girls aged eight to 12 who attended the seven FIFA Live Your Goals festivals in the host cities will continue their involvement in the game and strive to reach the top level. Other legacies include the ‘Move, Think, Learn – Soccer in Focus’ school resource curriculum supported by FIFA and Canada Soccer in conjunction with Physical and Health Education Canada, and the FIFA 11+ injury prevention programme.