World Cup delegation visits KC during final tender process

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KANSAS CITY, Mo – Kansas City is one of 17 US cities competing to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup. The FIFA World Cup delegation was in town Thursday to see what the city has to offer and visit potential sites. This is one of the last steps in the tendering process.

Kansas City Sports Commission President and CEO Kathy Nelson said the direct impact of an event of this size will be huge.

“Why should we care? There is a legacy that will come with this that we are still trying to define what it means – is it a better transportation system, does it mean there is better equity for the different communities in our city , or is everybody playing football, ”said Nelson“ I mean there’s so much that comes out of it, the impact hasn’t really been understood yet, which I think is so exciting. “

According to recent data from the Boston Consulting Group, the host city is expected to generate $ 620 million from tourism. Nelson said she believes hosting the event could be a game-changer for the Kansas City economy.

“When you think about putting 60, 70, 80,000 people in this place for five, six, seven matches, and on top of that you have training facilities, you have base camps and then you have a fan. fest that comes with that – there will be people like a Super Bowl or a [NCAA] Male Final Four who doesn’t have a ticket to go to this town to be around that energy, ”Nelson said.

Nominating director Katherine Fox said she believes the citizens of Kansas will reap the direct benefits. Hosting the World Cup means improving infrastructure, transport and workforce. These upgrades will stay in Kansas City long after the games.

“I think Kansas City is booming in terms of the existing infrastructure that’s already in place… the World Cup would be another catalyst to get down that road,” Fox said.

The FIFA delegation said that there is a list of requirements that the host city must fulfill.

“We look at transport, we look at accommodations, we look at media facilities, broadcast facilities, we look at sustainability, of course, we also look at the business and financial aspects and we look at the stadium,” said the director of FIFA competitions and events. said Colin Smith.

FIFA Vice President and Concacaf President Victor Montagliani encourages all candidate cities to show who they are.

“The governor of Missouri once asked me, ‘What’s it going to take? My response to him was, ‘You just have to be what you are.’ And at the end of the day, you can’t be what you’re not, ”Montagliani said.

FIFA will complete its visits by the end of this year and announce the winners in early 2022.

“We wear our hearts on our sleeves and we wear it proudly. They know we care about us and we’re passionate, ”Nelson said. “Today in our presentation we talked about our passion, our experience and our regionality – and that is what we are.”


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