TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly and Lieutenant Governor Toland today shared how Kansas contributed to, and will benefit from, FIFA’s selection of Kansas City as one of 16 North American host cities for the 2026 World Cup tournament.
“Tens of thousands of soccer fans from across the globe will soon be coming to Kansas and seeing all our great state has to offer,” said Kansas Governor Laura Kelly. “Securing this bid was the result of a years-long partnership between my Administration, Missouri, and Kansas City leaders. I predict the economic benefits will stretch far outside the KC Metro Region, as hotels, restaurants, and small businesses see an influx of cash leading up to and during the World Cup.”
Securing this bid was a bi-state effort. Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland and Commerce Chief Strategy Officer Trent Armbrust both sat on the KC 2026 FIFA World Cup executive committee. During a presentation to the FIFA delegation last fall, Toland stressed that momentum for the event has been building in Kansas City for a long time. So has the excitement in an already passionate soccer community.
“It was the bi-state, regional approach that made the difference and won the bid. Neither Kansas City, Kansas, nor Kansas City, Missouri, could have secured these matches on their own,” Lieutenant Governor Toland said. “I was proud to serve on the Kansas City 2026 FIFA World Cup executive committee and help make the case to the FIFA delegation that Kansas City is ready for the world stage. What will be the largest event in the history of Kansas City is the result of hard work, bi-state partnership, and a shared vision.”
Missouri will host the World Cup matches at Arrowhead Stadium, and Kansas will provide Sporting KC’s award-winning Children’s Mercy Park, Pinnacle National Development Center, and the University of Kansas Health System Training Complex as potential practice and training sites.
FIFA officials and the U.S. Soccer delegation saw firsthand Kansas’ investment in quality of life and tourism amenities such as the Kansas Speedway, the Legends shopping area and the soccer stadium when they attended a U.S. Women’s National Team contest at Children’s Mercy Park.
“FIFA recognized the metropolitan area for what it is – a world-class city and the Soccer Capital of America,” Kelly said.
With four additional years to plan for FIFA World Cup 2026, the Soccer Capital’s welcome will be a sight to behold.