KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There’s plenty of work to do before the 2026 World Cup, and that includes renovations to Arrowhead Stadium and Children’s Mercy Park.
“Three years sounds like a lot of time, but there’s a lot that has to be done,” Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt said. “So we’re definitely going to have to work hard to make sure that we’re ready.”
Hunt has been to 12 World Cups, starting with the 1974 Cup in West Germany. It’s well-known his father Lamar Hunt was a big supporter of soccer.
“He’s looking down right now, and he’s so excited about today and what will come in 2026 when literally the world descends on Kansas City,” Hunt said.
Hunt said work will be done each football offseason. Arrowhead Stadium will take out permanent seats. Each season, the Chiefs will bring in temporary seats to replace the ones taken out. The changes are in order to fulfill FIFA pitch requirements.
The state of Missouri has committed $50 million to the Truman Sports Complex Authority to help the Chiefs make the changes at Arrowhead.
There’s also the work of making sure training facilities are available, such as Sporting KC’s Compass Minerals Performance Center.
“It’ll be a phase project, so you’ll see some this offseason that takes place,” Sporting KC President Jake Reid said. “And then our goal is to be prepared on the lead up and then take advantage and then also on the lead out. I think it’s really important that we maximize this.”
The state of Kansas has pledged $10 million to Sporting Kansas City for World Cup upgrades at Children’s Mercy Park.
Per both Sporting KC and the KC Current, their training facilities in Riverside, Missouri, and in Kansas City, Kansas, will be base camps. Both teams’ stadiums will be training sites for World Cup teams that will play at Arrowhead Stadium.
It’s a lot of work that will cost plenty of money, but it’s all for a big buildup.
“It’s a ton, it’s a blast, it’s going to be great for the region,” Reid said.
“It’s not just about the $620 million during the moment of the World Cup in 2026. Really its how we take advantage of the brand,” Sporting KC owner Cliff Illig said.
“I’m so excited they’re going to get to come to Kansas City and see everything that’s great about Kansas City,” Hunt said.