Apparently big city Toronto has noticed all the world glory which came Windsor’s way from hosting the December 2016 FINA short course swimming championship. Windsor’s event, said a report prepared by the Canadian Sports Tourism Alliance, generated some $42 million in economic benefit for the province, including Toronto.
Most likely such a cash infusion had Toronto perk up its ears.
But, of course, the real kicker is the 462,610,035 spectators were most likely glued to their televisions during the six day FINA event. That alone certainly showcases the magic of the broadcast industry. Few networks even carried coverage, including not any of the major broadcast networks in Canada. Yet, 6% of the world’s population were watching.
Windsor, being solidly placed on the world stage, brought some humility to Toronto, which for most of its existence has been the province’s premier city. It has now been over a year since Windsor’s coup and only now has Toronto announced its plan to put Windsor in its place, if it can.
The Queen City’s mayor, John Tory, said he will support a bid by Hogtown to co-host the 2026 FIFA World Cup. There’s the catch right there.
Toronto will not be the sole site for the soccer matches.
According to a January 22 report by CBC, there are national soccer associations in Canada, the US, and Mexico who are working right now to organize a joint bid. It would have soccer matches held across North America.
Toronto could get three to five of the games at a cost that could be as high as $45 million. But, nothing yet is locked in stone.
In fact, Toronto is only one of four Canadian cities which could be tapped for Canada’s participation. The others are Montreal, Edmonton, and Vancouver.
Windsor, which is still radiating in FINA glory, was not mentioned.
Without question, with City Council and Administration holding on to over $185 million in reserves for a rainy day, this could be exactly the kind of friendly rain the city needs. Who would even think Edmonton would be a better fit for a world event than a city which has already held a world event of signature stature like Windsor.
Soccer Canada, said the CBC, has already put Toronto down as a potential host. There will be 80 games played on the trip to the Cup, ten in Canada, ten in Mexico, and 60 in the US. Windsor has certainly been snubbed by Soccer Canada.
Someone from the city needs to march down to Ottawa, where Soccer Canada lives, and show the executives all the international news coverage that has made Windsor the darling of the world. That someone should also forcefully make the point that the world is waiting for Windsor’s next move, not Toronto’s or Montreal’s or Edmonton’s.