Kansas City In The Running To Host World Cup Soccer In 2026
Kansas City could see World Cup soccer action in 2026 now that FIFA has officially selected the "United Bid" of Canada, Mexico and the United States to host the event eight years from now.
The FIFA Congress selected the United Bid over a bid from Morocco in a 134-65 vote early Wednesday morning. Kansas City is among 23 cities listed in the bid as candidate cities to host some of the 80 matches that will be played in the three countries over the course of the event.
In the U.S., 60 World Cup matches will be played across 10 cities. Kansas City and Cincinnati are the only candidate cities in the Midwest.
If Kansas City is chosen, matches would be played at Arrowhead Stadium. The bid book lists Arrowhead's total capacity as 76,640, but about 7,500 of those seats would be used for VIPs and media, leaving the stadium's capacity at just over 69,000 for the World Cup.
Arrowhead has experience with Major League Soccer events, having hosted the Kansas City Wizards — now known as Sporting Kansas City — for 12 years and the U.S. Open Cup Final in 2004. The stadium has also hosted World Cup qualifying games in the past. If it's selected, Kansas City would host quarter-final games and possibly the third-place game.
Events for fans would be held at The National World War I Museum and Memorial and the South Lawn of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and various sites in and near Kansas City would also be used as training facilities, including Swope Soccer Village, Children's Mercy Park, Park University and the Kansas City Chiefs Practice Facility. Several hotels around the metro would host teams and FIFA VIPs during the tournament.
Estimated ticket prices for the potential matches in Kansas City would be $468 for quarter-final games and $609 for the third-place game.
Nicolas Telep is KCUR's morning news intern. Follow him on Twitter @NDTelep.
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