KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City is in preparation mode for the 2026 World Cup.
On Thursday city, state and local sports leaders will come together to make a “major” announcement concerning the World Cup at Arrowhead Stadium.
KC Mayor Quinton Lucas, Kansas and Missouri governors Laura Kelly and Mike Parson along with Kansas City Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt and Sporting KC principal owner Cliff Illing will be among the top brass in attendance.
FIFA recently announced the official brand, projections and events for the 16 host cities of the World Cup will be released Wednesday.
The announcement could be concerning the renovations that GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium will need to undergo to be able to host the world’s biggest sports tournament properly.
In June, Lucas said the stadium will need $50M worth of improvements for the games.
“Look for an ask to the state on that in addition to private fundraising to fund that step,” he tweeted.
Jackson County Sports Complex Authority (JCSCA) Executive Director Jim Rowland said that the Authority would not be a source of funds.
City Manager Brian Platt said the field, or the “pitch,” will have to be raised for the games andit will have to be widened too, which may mean seats will have to be taken out.
Just last month, Kelly asked Kansas lawmakers to consider $10 million in funding for improving infrastructure at Children’s Mercy Park, the home of Sporting KC.
World Cup games will be played at Arrowhead Stadium on the other side of the state line, but teams could practice at Children’s Mercy Park or the Compass Minerals National Performance Center, where Sporting KC practices.
In 2018, an estimated 3 million tourists visited host cities in Russia; in 2022, 1.4 million tourists visited Qatar for the World Cup.
According to one study, host cities can expect up to $620 million in incremental economic activity.