WATCH: Local leaders make ‘major announcement’ for World Cup in Kansas City
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Local leaders from both states will be present at Arrowhead Stadium Thursday morning for an announcement that brings Kansas City closer to hosting World Cup matches during the 2026 tournament.
Here’s a timeline on the process surrounding the World Cup coming to North America and how Kansas City is getting ready.
June 2018: North America chosen as host for 2026 World Cup
A joint bid from the United States, Canada and Mexico was chosen to host the 2026 World Cup via vote on June 13, 2018. That day, the bid received 134 of a possible 203 votes from FIFA Member Associations to win the hosting rights over Morocco. The vote took place in Moscow, Russia.
FIFA will have three host nations for the first time in the tournament’s history and 2026 will be just the second time that countries have co-hosted the competition. In 2002, South Korea and Japan co-hosted the tournament.
The 2026 tournament will be the first World Cup to include an expanded field of 48 teams. That means an expansion from 64 to 80 matches.
July 2021: Kansas City hangs eye-catching banner in attempt to become World Cup host city
Just before Kansas City, Kansas, hosted matches for the Gold Cup in July 2021, a banner was hung on Main Street in Kansas City, Missouri, that read “We want the World Cup.” At the time, KC Sports Commission President Kathy Nelson said she felt “really strong” about the city’s bid, with Kansas City being one of 17 American cities bidding for one of the 10 spots.
October 2021: Officials visit KC as part of World Cup bid process
FIFA officials were in Kansas City meeting with local leaders and touring facilities to see the viability of the City of Fountains hosting the world’s largest sporting event. Along with Kansas City’s fervor for good soccer, one advantage cited in the city’s bid is the size of Arrowhead Stadium. The home of the Kansas City Chiefs and proposed venue for the World Cup was the fourth-largest stadium among the 17 finalist cities.
“We know what we need in terms of a World Cup overlay,” FIFA event coordinator Colin Smith said. “When we’re at the stadium, that’s what we’re looking at.”
May 2022: Missouri legislature passes bill to make World Cup tickets sales tax exempt
In an effort to help get the World Cup to Kansas City, both chambers of the Missouri General Assembly passed a bill on May 12, 2022, that would make tickets to the FIFA World Cup exempt from sales tax. Later, Parson signed the bill.
June 2022: Kansas City awarded bid as World Cup host city
Along with 10 other American cities, Kansas City is announced as a host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. U.S. stadiums are expected to host 60 of the tournament’s 80 matches in the expanded tournament. The remaining five locations consist of three Mexican cities and two Canadian cities.
Among the cities in the United States that were not selected were Denver, Cincinnati, Nashville, Orlando, Baltimore and Washington, DC.
The other 10 U.S. cities hosting the 2026 World Cup are:
- Bay Area
- Boston / Foxborough
- Los Angeles
- New York / New Jersey
And the announcement was assisted by a familiar Kansas City face.
June 2022: Mayor Lucas says $50 million in renovations coming to Arrowhead
A day after Kansas City was named a host city for the World Cup, Mayor Quinton Lucas said there would be $50 million worth of improvements to Arrowhead Stadium. In the same tweet thread, Lucas said additional costs would be needed for “increased transit between the stadiums and population centers in the city and the airport.”
November-December 2022: U.S. advances to Round of 16 in 2022 World Cup
Soccer fans gathered at watch parties around Kansas City throughout November and December as the United States advanced to the Round of 16 of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The tournament was played during November and December in an effort to have cooler temperatures in Qatar.
It was the United States’ return to the world stage after failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
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