A Senate committee has unanimously passed a bill to help keep Missouri in the running to become a host of the 2026 World Cup soccer tournament.
Kansas City, Mo. is among 17 cities being considered, but ticket sales tax is a dealbreaker for FIFA.
Senate Bill 652 by Sen. John Rizzo (D-Kansas City) would exempt World Cup tickets from sales tax, leveling the playing field between our state and other states being considered.
“This is a bill that we have to have in order to satisfy the FIFA requirements,” said Sen. Rizzo at the bill’s hearing.
Missouri’s bid to be a World Cup host isn’t just for kicks — the multi-day event would result in an estimated $695 million in economic activity for our state.
“This is not a Kansas City issue. This is a Missouri issue,” testified Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, who has been working closely with FIFA on Missouri’s hosting potential. “This tournament, should we be successful in attracting it, will have a ripple effect across most of our state. For those unfamiliar with the World Cup, when they travel, they travel in masses. They follow these teams from various countries to thousands of people, and it would be an awesome way to showcase not only the Kansas City area, but the entire state of Missouri.”
The tourism impact would be a big score for our state. The tournaments would pack hotels and restaurants, boosting local revenues. The games would also be broadcast on television, generating national news coverage featuring action in one of Missouri’s largest cities.
“If we were to secure five of the playoff games, it’s like having five Super Bowls,” Kehoe said.
The committee immediately voted 3-0 to approve the bill — an unusual move to speed up the process. Normally, bills heard aren’t voted on until subsequent committee meetings. The bill can now go to the Senate floor for debate.
Similar legislation, House Bill 2544 by Rep. Jon Patterson (R-Lee’s Summit), has been filed in the House.
If Kansas City is selected, the matches would be held at Arrowhead Stadium.