KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Preparation for the 2026 World Cup is in full swing in Kansas City.
On Thursday, part of Kansas City’s major announcement was the formation of the KC2026.
The nonprofit will oversee strategy and deliver host city duties for the FIFA World Cup 2026 as well as planning, constructing and implementing all aspects of fan engagement for the event.
The organization will work closely with FIFA officials to make sure they are compliant with the event guidelines and standards.
The nonprofit will be led by Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas as well as honorary co-chairs Kansas City Chiefs Chairman/CEO Clark Hunt and Sporting Kansas City Principal Owner Cliff Illig.
This will be the executive committee.
- Karen Daniel, KC2026 board president; former chief financial officer of Black & Veatch
- Neal Sharma, KC2026 board vice president; president of dentsu shop and co-founder and former CEO of DEG
- Jake Reid, KC2026 board vice president; president and CEO of Sporting Kansas City
- Kathy Nelson, KC2026 board secretary; president and CEO of Kansas City Sports Commission and Visit KC
- Esther George, KC2026 board treasurer; president and CEO of Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
The KC2026 Board of Directors will lead fundraising and engage with various stakeholders like government entities, community organizations, sponsors and volunteers.
Here are the other board members for KC2026:
- Mayra Aguirre, president of the Hall Family Foundation
- David Johnston, county administrator for Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas
- Mike Kelly, chairman of the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners
- Matt Kenny, executive vice president of operations and events for the Kansas City Chiefs
- Angie Long, co-owner of the Kansas City Current
- Brian Platt, Kansas City manager
- Joe Reardon, president and CEO of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce
- Missouri State Sen. John Rizzo
- Jim Rowland, executive director of the Jackson County Sports Complex Authority
- Morgan Said, chief of staff of the Kansas City Mayor’s Office
- Kansas State Sen. Dinah Sykes
- Frank White Jr., Jackson County executive
The Kansas City region has invested more than $600 million into soccer facilities in the last 15 years, including the new KC Current stadium that will open in 2024. That stadium is the world’s largest investment in professional women’s soccer.
The KC2026 bid also received endorsements from nine youth soccer state associations throughout the Midwest.
The area has already received $50 million in funding from the state of Missouri to the Jackson County Sports Authority to renovate GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium and $10 million from the state of Kansas to Sporting Kansas City to renovate Children’s Mercy Park.
Children’s Mercy Park and the Current’s new stadium will serve as training facilities and base sites for World Cup teams. Games will be played at Arrowhead Stadium.