(610 Sports) – Kansas City was officially named a FIFA World Cup 2026 host city in a televised announcement. FIFA, the sport’s global governing body, announced the 16 cities selected across the United States, Mexico and Canada to host matches for the largest event in World Cup history.
The bidding process, which began with 44 candidate cities in 2017, culminated in a celebration at KC Live! in the Kansas City Power & Light District. That moment, according to Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes, was the result of planning and hard work that had begun well before Kansas City placed their bid.
Joining 610 Sports' The Drive, Vermes opened up on what went into turning Kansas City into a soccer hub capable of hosting the game at the highest level.
"This was a long time coming," said Vermes. "When the new ownership group bought the team here in September of '06, I was consulted at that time and then we were moving into our first season in 2007, then we were talking about the new stadium and all the things that go with it. The whole idea was to make Kansas City a destination for soccer. So the vision of our ownership group was tremendous and I really believe that, obviously there's a lot of really good things that happened along the way but yesterday and that announcement was, if not the crowning moment, it's the one preceding the actual 2026 and we have our first World Cup game here, to bring the highest of quality of soccer to Kansas City and that being achieved by this announcement."
Hear the rest of The Drive's interview with Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes in the player below: