Kansas City will take center stage during the first World Cup to take place on American soil in 32 years.
The event, which is the first to be spread across three countries (the U.S., Canada, and Mexico), will also feature 48 teams, up from the current number of 32.
FIFA’s city selection show Thursday announced Kansas City among 16 sites that will host matches during the 2026 World Cup.
Sporting Kansas City, which has been in Major League Soccer since the league’s founding in 1996, plays its games at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas.
All World Cup matches in 2026 will be played at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, home to the Kansas City Chiefs of the NFL, located across the state line in Jackson County, Missouri.
Cliff Illig, who serves as principal owner of Sporting Kansas City, called Thursday’s announcement a huge step for the city and region’s evolution towards being a mainstay on the international soccer scene.
“The success of Kansas City’s bid is a testament to the accomplishments we can achieve when we work together," Illig said in a team press release. "Today’s announcement is the celebration of a shared vision that will culminate with the largest event in Kansas City history. The World Cup will bring unprecedented tourism and economic activity to our community and will provide an opportunity to showcase our city on a global stage. We are excited for Kansas City to proudly welcome the world for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.”
2026 World Cup Host Cities
- Kansas City
- Vancouver [B.C.]
- San Francisco
- Los Angeles
- Guadalajara [Mexico]
- Monterrey [Mexico]
- Mexico City
- New York City/New Jersey
Kansas Sports Betting Live in Time for 2022 World Cup
By the time the World Cup comes to Kansas City in 2026, mobile and retail sports betting figures to be a mainstay in the region.
That’s because online Kansas sports betting was signed into law in May and is slated to launch during the 2022 NFL regular season.
Sporting KC president Jake Reid told BetKansas.com earlier this week the club sees mobile and retail sports betting as a way to engage fans on an even deeper level.
That level of attachment should only increase over the course of the next four years, as the U.S. sports betting market looks to eclipse the U.K. as the largest in the world.
A survey by Grandview Research projects the U.S. sports betting marketplace will grow by 10.3% by 2030, from $76.75 billion in 2021 to north of $182.12 billion in 2030.
“We try to look through the lens of fan experience; how does this impact a fan watching a game?” Reid told BetKansas.com. “And to us, this is a net positive in all of those impacts, in terms of engagement with us as a brand, and I think the league and the sport in general.”
Betting apps in Kansas figures to be in place in time for the 2022 World Cup, which takes place Nov. 21 through Dec. 18 in Qatar.
Soccer fans in Kansas will be able to bet on the overall tournament winner (currently Brazil +475 at BetMGM Kansas), group winners and each match in the tournament.