KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For fans of World Cup soccer, the announcement of Kansas City’s inclusion as a game site is a long, long, long time coming.
Given the energy among fans during Thursday’s announcement you might as well think the World Cup was happening tomorrow instead of in 2026.
The emotions are a far cry from the will they, won’t-they feelings leading up to that moment.
Soccer fans descended on the Power & Light District awaiting the World Cup announcement with fingers crossed.
“Yeah,” Melanie Austin said. “It’s going to be so great. KC’s going to welcome everybody,” said Melanie Austin. “It’s going to be awesome.”
“We’ve been wanting the World Cup in Kansas City for like five years, 10 years, literally forever,” Savannah Gay said.
“Just look around. It’s electric in here. They’re cheering and the announcements just came on,” Alex Sanchez said.
Finally, in the mid-day heat hydrated mostly with beer fans received confirmation from the official FIFA feed.
“We worked so hard! This is beautiful! And we will have a hell of a World Cup in KC!” Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said among fans in the pit area of the celebration.
“Of course I’m going to these games. It’s the biggest sporting event in the world. And we’re here to rock it! We’re winning the whole thing in 2026 anyway on our home soil. Let’s go boys. We got it!” Joss Bathkey said.
“I think we’ve got that home-y feel. That neighborly feel. And everybody loves to be here. Everybody’s proud to be from Kansas City and we’re proud to welcome the world to the greatest city in America,” Bathkey said.