NewsLocal News2026 FIFA World Cup


FIFA delegation visits Kansas City to assess preparations for 2026 World Cup

FIFA delegation 2026 World Cup site visit
KC2026 FIFA World Cup 2026 site visit
Posted at 4:50 PM, Sep 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-27 17:50:11-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A delegation of more than 30 FIFA and FIFA-affiliated staffers recently completed a site visit to Kansas City, assessing preparations for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

Kansas City was one of 16 North American cities selected in June 2022 to host games in the next men’s World Cup, which will be hosted by the U.S., Canada and Mexico in the summer of 2026.

WATCH | ‘Welcoming the World: How Kansas City became a host city’

Welcoming the Word: How Kansas City became a World Cup host city

“This was an incredible opportunity to not only discuss critical topics of importance related to the ongoing planning and operationalization of KC2026, but also reinforce what makes Kansas City special,” KC2026 Executive Director Katherine Holland said in a statement. “Thank you to all the individuals and organizations who participated in meetings with our colleagues from FIFA and FIFA26. I continue to be delighted and gratified by the enthusiastic support of our entire region.”

KC2026 is the nonprofit organization formed earlier this year in charge of meeting host requirements and delivering the World Cup games in Kansas City.

RELATED | Get to know KC2026 Board President Karen Daniel

The FIFA delegation evaluated potential sites for training, team base camps and FIFA Fan Fest along with observing Kansas City International Airport and reviewing security plans as well as citywide transportation and traffic management.

FIFA’s visit was capped with a visit to GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium for a peek at stadium operations, hospitality and management of the playing surface.

“The delegation later attended the Kansas City Chiefs vs. Chicago Bears game, providing them with an example of the energy, excitement and passion fans bring to the beloved NFL venue, as well as giving them a chance to see some of the venue’s operational services and facilities in action on a match day,” KC2026 said in a release about the site visit.

Officials with the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority; the Kansas City, Missouri, aviation and police departments; the Kansas City Streetcar Authority and the Department of Homeland Security met with the FIFA delegation among other local stakeholders.

“It was great to be with the various delivery teams in Kansas City to see how their operational plans have been developing, and meet with our key counterparts across a range of functions as we all work together to deliver the biggest FIFA World Cup ever in under three years’ time,” Claudio Cailá Müller, executive director of operations for FIFA World Cup 2026, said in a statement from KC2026. “We’d like to thank the entire Kansas City team for their dedication and enthusiasm to the project, as well as the amazing experience we all had at the Kansas City Chiefs game. It’s a fantastic sporting venue that we know is going to offer fans something special during the FIFA World Cup in 2026.”

There will be 104 matches played among 48 teams — an expansion from 32 teams — in the 16 host cities across North America during the 2026 FIFA World Cup. Kansas City is in line to host six to nine matches.

The FIFA delegation’s North American tour continues through early November before wrapping up in Vancouver.

Officials from Kansas City — including Holland; Matt Kenny, the executive vice president of Arrowhead Operations and Events; and Kathy Nelson, president and CEO of the Kansas City Sports Commission and Visit KC — spent time in Qatar in November 2022 to observe the behind-the-scenes machinations of the World Cup firsthand.

Missouri already has given $50 million toward Kansas City's hosting effort with the KCMO City Council signing off on another $15 million.