Could Kansas City be a host city for the 2026 World Cup?
The FC Bayern Munich and AC Milan match is detouring across the state line.
The two international giants, originally scheduled to meet at Arrowhead Stadium in July, will instead play at Children’s Mercy Park, a notably smaller venue that houses Sporting Kansas City.
The game will still take place at 8 p.m. on July 23. Ticket holders were informed of the change via email Wednesday morning.
In his explanation of the move, Chiefs president Mark Donovan said the weather has “impacted our progress” to upgrades to Arrowhead Stadium, prompting necessity for the venue change.
“You will see these beautiful seats that are up in the upper deck. You’re also going to see sections and sections of seats that aren’t in yet,” he said. “We will be fine by July 23, but we didn’t want to take any risk, didn’t want to have to do anything extraordinary to get ready, and we didn’t want to impact them and make a move late. That was a big factor. It was not the schedule, not anything else. It was the weather. We had so much rain.”
Arrowhead Stadium holds 76,416 fans. The capacity at Children’s Mercy Park is 18,467 plus standing-room only tickets.
The match, part of International Champions Cup, had not yet sold more tickets than Children’s Mercy Park is able to accommodate. Fans who have already purchased tickets will be given comparable seats in the new venue. They will have a two-week window to seek a refund if they wish. Any remaining tickets will open to the general public at 10 a.m. Saturday.
“Tickets were not what we expected, but we think there’s a lot going on to that,” Donovan said, adding, “These things typically sell later, so we’re not necessarily concerned about tickets.”
The renovations at Arrowhead Stadium, he said, require a “cure period — this period of hours where it’s totally dry. And we never had a cure period. That delayed everything else.”
Donovan said that while the weather has impacted the progress of the project, there is no risk of it affecting the Chiefs football season this fall.
The soccer match, pitting the reigning champions of Germany’s Bundesliga and a top-flight Italian club, serves as another test run for Kansas City. The city is bidding to host 2026 World Cup matches. Sporting KC owner Cliff Illig and Chiefs co-owner and chairman Clark Hunt are the co-chairs of that bid.
The Gold Cup is scheduled to come to Children’s Mercy Park on June 26, a doubleheader that includes the United States men’s national team.