KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri took two major steps Thursday toward hosting two of the three biggest sporting events in the world. The news came at Visit KC’s annual Tourism Outlook gathering.

Some time in the next month Kansas City should find out if it wins its bid to bring the 2026 World Cup to town. Kansas City faced a potential barrier.

“FIFA requires the state that hosts that series to not charge sales tax on their tickets. About an hour an a half ago we got that legislation passed, applause,” Missouri Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe said.

The conference’s theme was the Power of KC Tourism. Speakers said its a city of energy, action and big ideas. Statewide tourism revenue was up $500 million over 2019 and had a $13.5 billion impact. That’s expected to skyrocket next year with the NFL Draft in Kansas City.

“If you aren’t a sports fan you should still care these people are coming to our city they are spending their dollars they are making our economy stronger. They are creating jobs and providing resources for us,” Kathy Nelson, president of both Visit KC and the Kansas City Sports Commission, said.

While tourism officials hope they’ll soon be making plans for the World Cup in 2026 they now are moving forward with plans they’ve been working on the past two years behind the scenes. Thursday it was announced for the first time the U.S. will host the men’s and women’s Rugby World Cup in 2031 and 2033.

They hope to now also bring the world’s 3rd largest sporting event here.

“While we do the Big 12 Men’s Basketball Tournament, the World Cup, The NFL Draft, hopefully the Rugby World Cup that all impacts T-Mobile Center and the whole downtown core,” Jay Cooper, T-Mobile Center general manager, said.

It’s not just sports, three conventions this year for the VFW, Educational Testing Service and National League of Cities are expected to bring in 17,000 guests alone.

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