KANSAS CITY, Mo. — FIFA World Cup bid leaders in Kansas City say it’s required to have a tax exempt status for state and local municipalities on ticket sales if you want to host tournament games. 

“Our ability to do so in advance of the host city announcement strongly supported our bid,” Kansas City World Cup Bid Director Katherine Holland said Thursday. 

The good status Holland felt going into the announcement had a lot to do with State Sen. John Rizzo, D-Independence, who sponsored the bill in the state legislature.

The bill passed in both chambers, and Republican Gov. Mike Parson signed it Thursday at a ceremony inside GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.

“Some of the media had asked, ‘Is Kansas City ready for this?” Parson said during the ceremony. “You know. I thought to myself, ‘Ready for it? Bring it on.'”

But the work is just beginning as to what needs to be done, especially at Arrowhead Stadium. The field will have to be both raised and widened. The widening means seats will need to be taken out.

On Friday, Mayor Quinton Lucas said that cost would be at least $50 million. He also said they may ask the state to help pay for that at some point.

 “I think it’s way too early,” Parson said when asked if state leaders will be asked to pay for the stadium upgrades. “I’m not aware of anything like that, but we haven’t even gotten into any of those preliminary discussions of anything like that.”

Parson added that taxpayers will have to decide what their part is in this World Cup situation.

“We’re going to look at what’s best for the taxpayers and what’s best for the state of Missouri,” he continued.

“I’ve done that continually for the last four years and will continue to do that. If the thing works to be able to work with, we’ll look at that. But look, if it’s not a good deal for the people of this state, then it’s not a good deal.”

As to how many games Arrowhead Stadium will host, that’s still unknown. But the city could get at least five games and a knockout round game during the 2026 FIFA World Cup. 

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