(The Center Square) – Kansas City was selected on Thursday as one 16 cities for FIFA World Cup soccer matches in 2026.
One of the key elements for the bid needs to be completed by Missouri Republican Gov. Mike Parson. Senate Bill 652, sponsored by Minority Leader John Rizzo, D-Kansas City, exempts the local sales tax on all admission charges to the World Cup soccer tournament games. The bill was passed by the legislature on May 12 and is required by FIFA, after previous host countries raised taxes during the tournament games. Parson signed six other bills into law earlier Thursday.
“Our team effort to bring the 2026 World Cup to Kansas City has culminated in today’s success as we prepare to be one of few American cities selected to host the largest sporting event in the world,” Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said in a statement. “The World Cup will bring jobs to our residents, will generate hundreds of millions of dollars for our region, and will illustrate on a global stage what we’ve known for some time: Kansas City is the soccer capital of America. I can’t wait to welcome the world to Kansas City.”
The only other World Cup played in the U.S. was in 1994. The 2026 World Cup will be jointly hosted by the U.S., Mexico and Canada.
“To be named a host city for not only the biggest single sport event in history, but as part of the most competitive selection process FIFA has ever facilitated is an incredible accomplishment for our city, our bid committee and everyone involved,” Kathy Nelson, president and CEO of the Kansas City Sports Commission and Visit KC, said in a statement. “This is an important milestone in our work to make Kansas City an international destination for sports tourism and I could not be more proud.”
Other U.S. cities chosen to play host are Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York/New Jersey, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle. Canadian cities chosen are Toronto and Vancouver. Mexico cities will be Guadalajara, Mexico City and Monterrey.
In 2017, 41 cities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico submitted bids to host the games.