Candidate Host City: Toronto
Football has brought people in the Greater Toronto Area together for well over 100 years. Since 2007, the top professional football team is Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Toronto FC.
Annually, Toronto is home to national tournaments, international sporting competitions and entertainment spectacles. The city boasts the world-class BMO Field, the National Soccer Stadium that was built for the record-setting FIFA U-20 World Cup Canada 2007™. More than a dozen times since the 1970s, 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 and was then followed by Toronto FC’s championship celebrations and a city parade.
As a world-renowned city, Toronto has hosted significant international football events starting with Canada’s first entry in FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers back in 1957. The city has also hosted football matches at the 1976 Olympic Football Tournament, the 1974 Concacaf Youth Championship, the 1987 FIFA U-16 World Tournament, the 1998 Concacaf Women’s Championship, the FIFA U-20 World Cup Canada 2007™ (serving as headquarters and hosting the Opening and Final Matches) and the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014™ when they hosted the Opening Match.
The city supports professional franchises in several sports: Toronto FC (MLS), Maple Leafs (NHL), Raptors (NBA), Blue Jays (MLB), Argonauts (CFL), Wolfpack (RFL) and Rock (NLL). The city also hosts the annual tennis Rogers Cup, an annual IndyCar Series and recently the Pan American Games in 2015. The greater city also includes Toronto FC II, the Toronto FC academy program and Canada Soccer’s Ontario Regional Super Centre for young women footballers.