Record 1,195,239 total spectators; total economic impact of $259-million
The Canadian Soccer Association’s hosting of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Canada 2007 was a defining moment in the history of sport in Canada. The event drew a record-setting crowd of 1,195,239 total spectators over the course of the 52-match event. With broadcast transmitted to 157 countries worldwide, it attracted a global television audience of 469.5-million cumulative viewers. The total economic impact across all six host cities, meanwhile, was $259-million. There was no question that the event turned out “huge,” in many ways beyond everyone’s great expectations. Just before the final, an Angus Reid Poll reported that one third of all Canadians watched at least one tournament match on television (the poll was taken midway through the tournament) and that interest in the game of soccer had increased 8% nationally through hosting the FIFA U-20 World Cup.
All in all, the tournament has provided a lasting legacy for soccer in Canada. Beyond the countless new fans and inspired players, as well as a blossoming interest from corporations to support the sport at all levels, it was the FIFA U-20 World Cup that paved the way for the creation of BMO Field, the country’s first soccer-specific national stadium. That new infrastructure, of course, led to the revival of professional soccer in Canada, including Toronto FC’s debut in 2007, the creation of the Amway Canadian Championship in 2008, and the elevation of Vancouver Whitecaps and Impact Montréal to first-division clubs in Major League Soccer, and the participation of Canada’s champion club in CONCACAF Champions League.
Moment 6: Canada hosts record-breaking FIFA U-20 World Cup
The Canadian Soccer Association celebrates its 100th anniversary throughout the 2012 calendar year. While soccer (football) has been played in Canada since 1876, the Canadian Soccer Association (or the Dominion of Canada Football Association as it was known in the day) was inaugurated on 24 May 1912. As part of the centennial celebrations, the Canadian Soccer Association will unveil the “Top-10 Moments” in Canadian soccer history as well as engage soccer fans to select the “All-Time Canada XI” teams for men’s and women’s football. The celebrations will culminate with Canada’s two Centennial Matches – a Women’s International Friendly on 30 May in Moncton and a Men’s International Friendly match on 3 June in Toronto.
Tickets to Canada’s 3 June Centennial home match – as well three FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in June, September and October – are available via Ticketmaster (ticketmaster.ca / 1.855.570.7500) with full details at CanadaSoccer.com/seetheerise. Also to celebrate Canada’s 100th anniversary, Canada’s men’s and women’s national teams will wear a special blue Centennial Kit tailored by Umbro. The kit will be worn exclusively by the men on 3 June and by the women for a second Centennial match on 30 June at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT, USA. Limited quantities of Canada’s Centennial clothing line – including jersey, anthem jacket and cap – are available exclusively at CanadaSoccer.com.
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