KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The first step in bringing the World Cup to Kansas City begins Tuesday morning.
Sporting KC executives will fly to New York to hand-deliver KC’s bid to be one of 12 host cities for the 2026 World Cup.
If Kansas City wins this bid and brings international soccer to town, it could bring $1-billion to the local economy.
The KC Sports Commission, along with Sporting KC executives, KCMO, KCK and the Chiefs put together the bid explaining all the advantages of Kansas City.
World Cup games would be played in Arrowhead Stadium, the sixth largest NFL stadium. Teams could practice at venues such as the U.S. Soccer Training Facility, currently under construction in KCK, Children’s Mercy Park, and Swope Park.
"I think facilities are a huge plus for us," Sporting KC President Jake Reid said. "You look at Arrowhead and it's one of the largest venues in the NFL. You look at Childrens Mercy Park, which we could do some friendlier in, you look at the National Training Center and Swope, you have this infrastructure that other cities are going to have to build."
Hotels have been popping up everywhere, so they believe there are plenty of rooms for all the international fans who would descend on Kansas City.
If Kansas City is picked to be one of the 12 host cities, you could see a push to possibly expand the streetcar to Arrowhead Stadium to get fans there.
"If we get this, viewership numbers are five times a Super Bowl in some cases so it's a massive event and I think everyone realizes the implications it would have in the region overall putting our full weight behind it," Reid said.
The World Cup is in 2026, so that would give Kansas City nine years to prepare.
The U.S. is combining efforts with Canada and Mexico to host the World Cup, and there’s no guarantee Kansas City will win the bid – Morocco is also bidding for it.
This will also be the first expanded World Cup with 16 more teams in the field – so there will be more games than ever before.
The bids are due Tuesday, and we’ll find out if KC makes the short list to host World Cup games at the end of this month.
A previous version of this story noted that the KC Sports Commission would hand-deliver the bid. It has since been updated to say that Sporting KC executives would hand-deliver the bids.