KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City-area organizers for the 2026 World Cup hosted FIFA officials over the weekend, even taking them to the Kansas City Chiefs game to see the energy at Arrowhead Stadium.
FIFA representatives are touring North America to get a sense of each of the 16 host cities. The tour started last week in Miami and will wrap up in Vancouver next month.
While they were in Kansas City, FIFA officials met with local stakeholders, visited potential practice facilities and discussed transportation and safety plans, among other things.
“We’d like to thank the entire Kansas City team for their dedication and enthusiasm to the project, as well as the amazing experience we all had at the Kansas City Chiefs game,” Claudio Caila Muller, executive director of operations for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, said in a statement.
“It’s a fantastic sporting venue that we know is going to offer fans something special during the FIFA World Cup in 2026.”
“This was an incredible opportunity to not only discuss critical topics of importance related to the ongoing planning and operationalization of KC2026, but also reinforce what makes Kansas City special,” Katherine Holland, executive director of KC2026, said in a statement.
Kansas City has already formed KC2026, a nonprofit to oversee strategy, planning and implementation of host duties and fan engagement for the World Cup. But even before that nonprofit formed, city leaders have been planning for the international tournament.
FIFA representatives attended the 2023 NFL Draft in April to see how Kansas City handled the massive event. Kansas City had the second highest draft attendance over the past eight years.
Kansas City leaders also visited Qatar last year for the 2022 World Cup, learning every aspect of what it takes to pull off the biggest sports tournament in the world.
The 2026 FIFA World Cup will be spread out over 16 host cities, including 11 in the United States, and will expand to 48 teams and 104 matches.
There will still be a four-team group stage, but the knockout phase will also be expanded with 32 national teams advancing.
FIFA should be announcing the 2026 World Cup schedule this fall, including how many games Kansas City will host and in which stages of the tournament.
The New York Times reports New York City or Arlington, Texas, are expected to host the World Cup final.