KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City 2026 Committee tackled a big deadline this week in hopes of becoming a host city for the World Cup. We are now just weeks away from a decision.
If the mural at 16th Street and Main Street that reads “We want the World Cup” isn’t a big enough sign, Kansas City leaders made it official Monday night.
Leaders submitted the final bid documents. Now, the decision is in Switzerland with FIFA executives.
“It’s a good day,” President and CEO of the Kansas City Sports Commission and Visit KC Kathy Nelson said.
Seventeen cities are in the running to host. Only 11 will be selected.
Nelson thinks the city put its best foot forward, when FIFA visited KC in October.
“I think we put on an extremely impressive site visit,” Nelson said. “I think when they were here they had a lot of fun. They met a lot of great people. We truly proved how badly we want to host the World Cup in 2026.”
“The biggest event we could ever host here by far,” President and CEO of Sporting Kansas City Jake Reid said.
He said the last World Cup had 3.2 billion TV viewers. For perspective, the average Super Bowl is just around 100 million.
“This would be like having 4-5 super bowls in the region in a month time frame,” Reid said. “Up to a billion dollars in economic impact.”
He said 20,000-30,000 people could be in Kansas City for two weeks to a month, staying in hotels and eating. A huge economic lift.
“Within our region we’re the soccer capitol of America,” Reid said. “And what better place to have the world cup than right in the heart of the country and the Midwest.”
If selected, Arrowhead Stadium could host 3-6 matches.
Teams would train in Missouri and Kansas. Nelson said this play has brought a region together.
“We’ve united cities and two states and different groups from around this Midwest region to make this bid successful,” Nelson said. “So, I think that’s something to be really, uniquely proud about.”
FIFA could make a decision at the end of April or early May, according to Nelson.
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