Kansas City hangs eye-catching banner as part of bid to host World Cup

File - On July 12, 2021, a banner on Main Street downtown that was 90 feet tall and 90 feet...
File - On July 12, 2021, a banner on Main Street downtown that was 90 feet tall and 90 feet wide had a clear message: “We want the World Cup.”(KCTV5 News)
Updated: Jul. 12, 2021 at 6:59 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- Kansas City, Missouri is making moves to try and entice the 2026 World Cup to come to KC.

A new banner on Main Street downtown that’s 90 feet tall and 90 feet wide has a clear message: “We want the World Cup.

“I feel really strong. Some days, it’s too strong and I feel bad for the other cities when I look at what we have to offer,” said KC Sporting Commission President Kathy Nelson.

The banner went up on Friday, just in time for the U.S. Men’s Soccer Gold Cup matches happening in Kansas City, Kansas.

“Having this signage up during that time is fantastic,” Nelson said. “We’re hopeful that they’ll capture some of this as well.”

Right now, there are 17 U.S. cities bidding to host World Cup matches in 2022. FIFA will narrow it down to 10 host cities.

FIFA officials should be in Kansas City sometime this fall to see what the area has to offer.

Local soccer fans like Josue Padilla and Arnold Castillo are crossing their fingers officials are impressed.

Watching them play, here in Kansas especially, would be amazing,” Padilla said.

The guys are from Los Angeles but say Kansas City is just as big a soccer town. And, no matter where the World Cup ends up, they’ll be at a game.

“I’m going. I don’t care. Like, I have to go see those world-class players. It would be different from watching on TV. The atmosphere with a lot of fans and stuff,” Castillo said.

Nelson says Kansas City is a clear top contender for many reasons. Top of the list are the venues like Arrowhead Stadium for the matches, and the state of the art training fields in KCK and Overland Park.

Also helping make the bid more attractive is the new KCI Airport, the diverse group of people on the executive committee for the World Cup bid, and Kansas City’s location.

“They [FIFA] have mentioned multiple times we are a four-hour flight from any of the host cities in Canada and Mexico and that continues to come up, and how great that would be for players to either get to games or to a base camp here. It would be easy to get to from any city and that’s a positive. When they bring that up, that makes us feel great,” Nelson said.

FIFA is expected to announce the host cities sometime in spring or summer of 2022.