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Kansas City officials competing for FIFA World Cup prepare for important visit

KC Streetcar FIFA World Cup
Posted at 4:53 PM, Oct 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-14 18:20:02-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City is among 17 cities in North America competing to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

During an event at Union Station unveiling the visual pitch for the tournament, Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas said he believes Kansas City has an edge.

"As somebody who has visited a lot of the other cities that are in competition and they're all fine places and good people, I don't think anybody has put in the effort that we have in connection with this," Lucas said.

As part of the fanfare, the KC Streetcar debuted wrap supporting the city's bid to host the tournament.

Benny Feilhaber attended the streetcar unveiling Thursday morning. The retired soccer player said KC sports fans can match and exceed the energy he experienced when competing in the 2010 World Cup.

"Kansas City is a pure sports enthusiast city and so for the Chiefs, for the Royals, for Sporting Kansas City, I think the fans are great and I think they'll show that pride and that passion in the World Cup," Feilhaber said.

Peter Carnesciali is one soccer fan hoping the FIFA World Cup comes to Kansas City.

"I think it would be huge to bring the World Cup here because it's a truly world wide event where everyone across the world is watching, so we can really showcase what we have and promote ourselves as a world class city," Carnesciali said.

Community enthusiasm is something Joanie Schirm said will be vital in convincing the FIFA delegation to choose their city. 

Schirm knows what it takes because she headed the committee that submitted a successful bid for Orlando to host the 1994 FIFA World Cup.

"You have to show the spirit that's going to transcend into what is not just one game, because there will be a series of games," Schrim said. "During downtime people are in your community and enjoying it. So you have to show what you're all about."

Schirm addedthat a successful city needs a good stadium and a perfect pitch.

Katherine Fox is overseeing Kansas City's bid. Her job is to make a pitch to the FIFA delegation they can't reject.

"It's been stressful, but it makes you fall in love all over again with Kansas City when you realize how great it is and how people don't necessarily realize that and it is an incredible opportunity to just show them that," Fox said.

The FIFA World Cup delegation will visit Kansas City on Thursday, October 21st.