KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With Kansas City in the running to possibly serve as a host for the 2026 World Cup, the metro will need to make progress on a number of key issues before selections are announced in 2020.
According to the official FIFA Bid Evaluation Report, Kansas City finished below average in multiple categories compared to other cities in the running to host games.
While ratings for Arrowhead Stadium were around average, public transportation from the city center to the facility was described as "insufficient."
Ratings for accommodations saw Kansas City rank second to last for the 23 cities in the running to host games.
The full report can be viewed here:
The city also received poor Transport ratings, which analyzed intercity connectivity and host city mobility.
Kansas City tied for the second lowest score with Edmonton, with only Guadalajara finishing with a lower rating.
Despite the poor grades, Mayor Sly James said the city would be ready for the selection committee.
“Once they get here, I think the city will sell itself,” he told 41 Action News on Wednesday. “Beyond that, I think we build the things we need to build and continue to work on transportation.”
Moving forward, James said the World Cup presented a possible special opportunity for the metro.
“We’d have visitors from all over the world,” he said. “You don’t get an opportunity to market yourself like that worldwide very often.”
News of Wednesday’s announcement was met with excitement all around the country, including in Kansas City.
Don Pfannenstiel attended several games during the 1994 World Cup in America working with Sprint and still has a display of tickets and pins from the event on a wall in his home.
“It was unlike anything I had experienced from an American sport,” he explained. “Frankly, it’s much bigger than the Super Bowl.”
Years before the World Cup came to America, Pfannenstiel helped organize the 1988 NCAA men’s basketball Final Four at Kemper Arena.
With the World Cup possibly coming to Arrowhead Stadium, he said plenty of work laid ahead.
“If they do get it, there’s plenty of planning and preparation,” he explained. “I think they have a greater chance with what the city advantages are.”