Who will pay for KC’s Arrowhead Stadium to host the World Cup?


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Mayor Quinton Lucas pegged the costs at $50 million.  Others say it's too low, but someone will be responsible for it.

Mayor Quinton Lucas pegged the costs at $50 million. Others say it’s too low, but someone will be responsible for it.

We know that over the next four years, the Kansas City Chiefs will need to spend tens of millions of dollars upgrading Arrowhead Stadium in preparation for FIFA World Cup games in 2026. But who will cover all of the iconic stadium renovation costs to meet FIFA specifications? And where will the money come from?

No one in the know seems to have the answer, which raises even more questions.

It’s too early for financial projections associated with the World Cup, Chiefs officials said. But Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas’ estimate is known: public and private funding will be needed to cover the $50 million price tag.

Critics said Lucas’ rating was low.

Toronto will spend about $290 million to bring its city-owned BMO Field into compliance for its World Cup games.

Will Kansas City be ready to host in 2026 at Arrowhead’s GEHA Field? The seats will have to be removed from the stadium. The reconfigured pitch must meet FIFA standards for football. Turnstiles are to be added, among other changes.

Gillette Stadium in Boston was also selected as the World Cup site for 2026. When Boston hosted the World Cup matches in 1994, corner seats at Foxboro Stadium were removed with jackhammers to Accommodate additional security personnel and media needed to cover the event.

These and other infrastructure changes will be required at Arrowhead.

Bring it on, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said Thursday at a special ceremony.

“We’re the only city in the Midwest to host a World Cup,” Missouri’s 57th governor said before signing a state Senate bill that waives sales tax on World Cup tickets. world. The region and the state must be ready, “and we will be,” Parson said.

Later, Parson was asked about the source of funding needed to reconfigure GEHA Field. At this point, no one knows, he said.

Nothing is set in stone, Chiefs officials told us. News that Kansas City is a World Cup city is still fresh, a club spokesperson said.

But the application process, successfully conducted by the Kansas City Sports Commission, did not happen in a vacuum. Surely the Chiefs have a plan. Mark Donovan, team president, said so.

“As part of the bidding process, we had to show them a full plan that makes (Arrowhead) compliant,” Donovan said recently. If those intentions include asking for public funds, then Missouri taxpayers have a right to know.

When Arrowhead undertook a $375 million renovation project more than a decade ago, taxpayers covered $212.5 million of the cost with Jackson County sales tax revenue. The Missouri state government provided $37.5 million.

Would the Jackson County Sports Complex Authority, the taxpayer-funded owner of Arrowhead Stadium and neighboring Kauffman Stadium, pay for the upgrades?

No, Jim Rowland, executive director of the Sports Complex Authority, said this week.

The multi-year project to get Arrowhead fit to host the World Cup comes with many challenges. Securing funding is a top priority. But everyone in Missouri deserves to know where the money is coming from.

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