Governor: KC World Cup 2026 bid a result “bi-state cooperation”
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Governor Laura Kelly says the Kansas City World Cup 2026 bid - which was successful - was the result of bi-state cooperation and a testament to Kansas’ commitment to tourism.
Kansas Governor Laura Kelly says on Wednesday, June 22, she and Lt. Gov. Toland shared how Kansas contributed to - and will benefit from - FIFA’s inclusion of Kansas City as one of 16 cities in North America to host the 2026 World Cup tournament.
“Tens of thousands of soccer fans from across the globe will soon be coming to Kansas and seeing all our great state has to offer,” Gov. Kelly said. “Securing this bid was the result of a years-long partnership between my Administration, Missouri, and Kansas City leaders. I predict the economic benefits will stretch far outside the KC Metro Region, as hotels, restaurants, and small businesses see an influx of cash leading up to and during the World Cup.”
Kelly said securing the bid was a bi-state effort. She said Lt. Gov. and Secretary of Commerce David Toland and Commerce Chief Strategy Officer Trent Armbrust both sat on the KC 2026 World Cup executive committee.
During a presentation to the FIFA delegation in the fall of 2021, Toland stressed that momentum for the event has been building in Kansas City for a good amount of time - and so has the excitement in an already passionate soccer community.
“It was the bi-state, regional approach that made the difference and won the bid. Neither Kansas City, Kansas nor Kansas City, Missouri, could have secured these matches on their own,” Toland said. “I was proud to serve on the Kansas City 2026 FIFA World Cup executive committee and help make the case to the FIFA delegation that Kansas City is ready for the world stage. What will be the largest event in the history of Kansas City is the result of hard work, bi-state partnership, and a shared vision.”
While Missouri will host the World Cup matches at Arrowhead Stadium, the Governor noted that Kansas will provide Sporting KC’s Children’s Mercy Park, Pinnacle National Development Center and the University of Kansas Health System Training Complex as potential practice and training sites.
Kelly said FIFA officials and the U.S. Soccer delegation saw the state’s investment in the quality of life and tourism amenities like the Kansas Speedway, the Legends shopping area and the soccer stadium when they attended a U.S. Women’s National Team match at Children’s Mercy Park.
“FIFA recognized the metropolitan area for what it is – a world-class city and the Soccer Capital of America,” Kelly said.
With four more years to plan for the World Cup, Kelly said the Soccer Capital’s welcome will be one to remember.
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