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Kansas City to receive $50 million from Missouri for FIFA World Cup preps

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Posted at 6:31 PM, May 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-12 19:31:55-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City will receive $50 million from the state of Missouri to help fund preparations for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

The city had initially requested four $12.5-million installments annually leading up to the World Cup, a quadrennial international soccer competition that is among the most-viewed events on the planet.

GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, home of the Kansas City Chiefs, was selected last summer as one of 16 North American host cities. Canada, Mexico and the United States are jointly hosting the global men’s soccer competition.

Several Kansas City-area senators — Senate Minority Leader John Rizzo, along with Sens. Lauren Arthur and Greg Razer — asked instead for the full appropriation in one lump sum during this year’s budgeting process.

The Missouri Office of Administration budget for FY2024 includes that $50-million allocation to the Jackson County Sports Complex Authority “for stadium and ground modifications, transportation, marketing, and additional event support to support the largest and most prestigious single-sport event.”

Arrowhead will require significant modifications to the seating bowl to accommodate a soccer field that meets World Cup specs and other changes at a cost of roughly $50 million or more.

The Jackson County Sports Complex Authority owns and operates the Harry S. Truman Sports Complex, which includes Arrowhead and Kauffman stadiums.

The one-time $50 million payment is in addition to the $3 million the Jackson County Sports Complex Authority receives annually from the state for maintenance and operations costs, a payment that originated in 1991.

The Bartle Hall Convention Center receives $2 million annually.

For the second straight year, the Edwards Jones Dome in St. Louis will receive $2 million, which is down from $12 million in FY2020 and FY 2021 and $7 million in FY2022.

Missouri had been on the hook for $10 million in bond debt service and $2 million in maintenance costs for the former home of the NFL’s Rams. The bonds were paid off July 1, 2022, and the final maintenance payment will be made Aug. 1, 2023, according to Office of Administration budget documents.