KC Leaders Announce Board for World Cup 2026

By Will Crow

As the future host of the World Cup 2026, Kansas City and its leaders gather to announce a team to promote, prepare and coordinate with FIFA directly. 

Leaders from Kansas and Missouri gathered to make a major announcement at Arrowhead Stadium on Thursday concerning the upcoming 2026 World Cup.

The announcement was presented by Kansas City Sports Commission’s Kathy Nelson in the formation of a new non-profit organization called KC2026. The non-profit’s board of directors was also named at the announcement. 

A panel depicting the new non-profit board of directors for KC2026.

KC2026 president Karen Daniel had this to say during the announcement. 

“We are working to be the primary connection to FIFA and we have to deliver on our contract responsibilities to FIFA,” Daniel said. “Also, the responsibility to secure funds and at the same time engage with people.”

A significant announcement came from Missouri Gov. Mike Parson. The state of Missouri has sealed away $50 million to help towards the World Cup event he said. 

“Three years, believe it or not, if you look back on all the things we did in the world, it went in a blink of an eye,” Parson said. “There is a lot of work to do and we are gonna need partners and I want you to know Missouri is a partner.”

Kansas and Missouri leaders stand alongside KC Sports leaders during the KC2026 announcement. (From left to right: Sporting Kansas City Principal Owner Cliff Illig, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Quinton Lucas, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, Kansas City Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hun)

Without a second thought, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly was next to speak and reassure Kansas would also be contributing to the event and its ramp-up.

“The 2026 World Cup and the dozens of events and activities in the weeks leading will boost tourism and have huge economic benefits to the KC Metro region,” Kelly said. 

Kelly did not give a specific number of funds at the announcement. 

Other notable speakers at the event were Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Quinton Lucas, Kansas City Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt and Sporting Kansas City Principal Owner Cliff Illig.

In addition to the announcement meeting held at Arrowhead Stadium, the new branding for the Kansas City World Cup 2026 campaign began the same day. The branding will be seen in multiple areas in Kansas City including Union Station, Kansas City Streetcars, National WWI Museum and more.