New law eliminates ticket taxes for World Cup games in Kansas City

(The Center Square) – Missouri Republican Gov. Mike Parson on Thursday helped Kansas City meet soccer’s international governing body’s requirement for its 2026 tournament.

Parson signed Senate Bill 652 at Arrowhead Stadium to exempt 2026 FIFA World Cup tickets for games in Kansas City from Missouri state and local sales taxes.

The bill’s fiscal note estimated the effect on state government could be as much as $3.5 million in general revenue and state funds had the organization not required the tax be suspended. It estimated the effect on local government would be $3.9 million. It used 2022 World Cup ticket prices for the estimate, which ranged from $105 to $210 for regular group matches and from $455 to $1,100 for the finals.

“We are thrilled that Kansas City has been chosen as a host city for the 2026 World Cup, and we are signing this legislation today to show our appreciation and fulfill our obligation as good hosts,” Parson said in a statement. “Not only will we welcome hundreds of thousands of fans but also hundreds of millions of dollars in investment to the Kansas City region and Missouri. Kansas City is at the heart of our nation’s heartland and, as the only host city in the Midwest, will be a proud representative of Midwestern hospitality and our sports loving traditions. We look forward to welcoming the world to Kansas City to help deliver the largest World Cup in history.”

Arrowhead Stadium seats approximately 76,416 for football. The current sales tax rate for Arrowhead Stadium is 4.625%, with Kansas City getting 3.25%, Jackson County getting 1.25% and the Kansas City Zoological District getting 0.125%.

Senate minority leader John Rizzo, D-Kansas City, introduced the bill last December and it didn’t pass out of the legislature until May 12, the second-last day of the legislative session. Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed Georgia’s sales tax exemption into law for Atlanta’s World Cup games on May 2.

Last year, Major League Baseball pulled its All-Star game from Atlanta after the state passed new election rules. A bill with a voter photo identification requirement, opposed by Rizzo and other Democrats, was sent by the legislature to Gov. Parson in May.

“The positive economic impact of this event will be felt throughout the entire state,” Rizzo said in a statement. “As the only midwestern city selected, we have a great responsibility, and I know we’ll rise to the occasion.”

Kansas City was selected over Denver, Cincinnati and Nashville.

“This is such a huge accomplishment for our state and Kansas City,” said Rep. Jon Patterson, R-Lees Summit. “To think that people from all over the world are going to come to Kansas City to watch the World Cup is so exciting. I know we are up to the challenge for being a great host city.”

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