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Kansas City hosts FIFA officials Thursday in bid to host the 2026 World Cup

KCTV | Taylor Johnson, Shain Bergan

KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- The stage is set. Kansas City is lit in blue. Politicians have made pleas on the Senate floor. And city leaders have their game faces on, as the FIFA delegation arrives Thursday to determine whether the city will be a good fit as a host site for the 2026 World Cup.

Kansas City is one of 17 host city candidates in the United States, and the message around town has become very clear: 'We want the World Cup!'

"Not only are we going to be the greatest hosts to the World Cup, but I think we're going to get it," said Mayor Quinton Lucas. "And I think we're going to be able to show everybody around the world how exceptional Kansas City is for business, for tourism, for living, for life, for sports."

The FIFA delegation is set to inspect the area with local shareholders. That will include looking at important infrastructure, stadiums, training facilities and potential FIFA fan festival sites.

Kansas City officials have unveiled various efforts recently to show the world the city wants to play host to the largest international soccer tournament, which kicks off every four years. Last week, the city unveiled a new design on the Streetcar to help get the message out.

Fans and residents can be a part of the effort as well. KC 2026 posters can be picked up this week from the Greater KC Chamber of Commerce to be placed in your window, your home or your place of business.

State leaders in Missouri and Kansas have also gotten in on it. U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) took to the Senate floor earlier this week to tout the metro's capabilities of hosting such an important international event, bringing up KCK's massive soccer training facility, Arrowhead Stadium's accommodations, and Kansas City's growth of amenities on both sides of the state line.

"Sporting KC has energized the region's diverse and passionate soccer fan base," the senator said during his floor speech. "A fan base I'm confident is ready to pack their bags and head to Arrowhead Stadium, the loudest stadium in the world, to cheer on the United States Men's National Team and other nations who compete there."

Kansas City is the first of eight cities FIFA will be visiting through Nov. 1. Last month, they visited nine.

There are 23 cities with bids in North America, between the U.S. Canada and Mexico. Sixteen of the 23 cities will be picked as host sites for the World Cup.