Kansas City selected as host city for 2026 World Cup

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(610 Sports) – Kansas City has been chosen as one of 10 U.S. host cities for the 2026 World Cup.

FIFA, soccer's governing body, made the announcement on Thursday afternoon. Kansas City joins Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Guadalajara, Dallas, Atlanta, Houston, Monterey, Mexico City, Toronto, Philadelphia, Miami, and New York/New Jersey as the cities that will host games in a World Cup jointly hosted by the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

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The bid to host World Cup games has been many years in the making for Kansas City officials. FIFA representatives visited the Kansas City metro in October to go over plans for hosting games at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, providing practice facilities for teams, and meeting requirements for providing lodging, transportation and fan fest locations.

Kansas City had long been considered a strong contender to receive a bid as a host city, thanks in part to the tremendous soccer facilities in the metro, the capacity of Arrowhead Stadium and celebration areas that include Penn Valley Park and Theis Park along Brush Creek. Perceived areas of weakness included a lack of public transportation and the airport. Although the new single-terminal airport will be open in time for the 2026 World Cup, the distance to the stadium and passenger volume were viewed as negatives.

The World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the world and multiple studies are saying that every host city could expect anywhere from $100 million up to $700 million in economic lift. The Big 12 Basketball tournament in comparison, which is the cities biggest sporting event every year, those 4-5 days equal to about $20 million injected into the local economy.

Kansas City will host between 5 and 7 games during the 2026 World Cup.