KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The FIFA World Cup is coming to Kansas City in 2026, but Missouri lawmakers say legislation they passed made it possible for Missourians to see world-class soccer.
The Show-Me State scored a big goal Thursday with Kansas City being selected as a host city for the World Cup. On Friday, the parking lot of Arrowhead Stadium was bare, but in 2026, it will be packed since it’s where some of the games will be played.
It’s something we all can get excited about. Kansas City will be one of 16 host cities for the North America games.
“Hopefully people will be enjoying bars and restaurants. Hotels will be packed,” said Senate Minority Leader John Rizzo (D-Independence). “They’ve done studies that show people will be staying all the way out to Columbia just to come to the World Cup in Kansas City.”
Arrowhead Stadium will be home to more than just football games in 2026. It also will be one of the homes of the FIFA World Cup.
“For everybody in Missouri, to bring the World Cup here in Kansas City, it’s going to be a great time, an exciting time. And what an opportunity to showcase who we are here,” Gov. Mike Parson said.
“You try so hard to get prepped up to try and land these positions sometimes when someone is trying to come to your state. And you’re trying to figure out how to get them here, you’re competition against everyone else, but I like the competition.”
Rizzo said it’s his legislation, Senate Bill 652, that helped Kansas City score by exempting the sales tax of tickets.
Other states have passed similar legislation with the hope of being recognized by FIFA. Rizzo said it was a bipartisan effort to see world-class soccer.
“We’ve had some problems in the past where they have to announce these things so far out. Then, a local municipality will spike the sales tax,” Rizzo said. “I think if we had not passed the legislation, we wouldn’t have had the celebration we had yesterday [Thursday].”
“We fight back and forth all the time in Jeff City. To have such an amazing thing happen for Kansas City yesterday, everybody can come together. It’s what politics and government should do,” Rizzo said.
Parson agreed the bill helped.
“Legislation passed this year to help on some of the process of the taxing on the ticket sales to have the World Cup here,” Parson said.
Senate Bill 652 is currently on the governor’s desk waiting for his signature, but Parson said he will be signing it soon.
“It’s already on my desk, I’m sure I’m going to be signing it in Kansas City in the next week or so,” Parson said.
Kansas is one of 11 cities in the U.S. that will host. Three cities were selected in Mexico, and Canada will have two cities that will host.
As for Show-Me State, soccer has been a rising sport for some time. In Kansas City, there is Sporting KC and the women’s team, the Kansas City Current. Next year, St. Louis City SC will take the field in their new stadium.
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