Kansas City World Cup leaders in Qatar as they prep for 2026

Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 6:33 AM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Kansas City leaders are paying close attention to not only the soccer on the field at the World Cup, but literally everything else in preparations to host it in 2026.

Director of the KC2026 FIFA World Cup bid Katherine Holland, Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation President/CEO Kathy Nelson, and Executive Vice President of Arrowhead Operations Matt Kenny are making the trip to Qatar right now with plans to explore the area, starting Saturday. The delegates are being sent as part of the official FIFA-hosted observer tour for all future host cities.

The leaders will be led through workshops, essentially, by FIFA to learn about operations in Qatar and how that can translate to each host city..

The city is contractually obligated to have free travel for visitors so that means from the airport to downtown hotels, their hotels to the stadium for the games, and they will be learning ways to manage that as many will flood the city in 2026. An important topic also that will be discussed of course is the security detail.

KC Sports Commission Director of Marketing and Communications Elliott Scott said, “One of the things that’s most exciting about the world cup is we’re going to have journalists and media from all over the world and so how does that accreditation process look like? Security is a huge component.”

Each city will have an individualized plan for each host city as Kansas City is not San Fransico, Miami, or New York.

“Every host city will have a unique experience and a unique take on the World Cup,” said Scott.

Overall, it’s still exciting to know they we are going to have the World Cup here.

“This is an opportunity you can’t buy. We’re talking hundreds and hundreds of millions of people tuning in. People from all over the world, probably experiencing Kansas City for the first time,” said Scott. “Personally, I believe this will change the trajectory of Kansas City for years or decades to come.”

The three leaders will come back to share experiences and findings next week, with the plan to have planning processes begin in early 2023.