What is going on with KC’s World Cup branding and logo?
KC locations are receiving 2026 World Cup logo branding, and Missouri taxpayers will foot a bill of $50 million for the tournament.
In a press conference today at Arrowhead stadium, a coalition of city organizations and local representatives gathered to unveil the branding for the upcoming FIFA World Cup. At 2 a.m. the official nationwide design for the overall event was announced, with our city-specific details revealed today.
The localized KC logo states “We Are 26” with “Kansas City” placed at the bottom. If read in a counterclockwise manner, it could also say “We Are Kansas City 26.” For many on social media, it read as muddled at best and nonsensical at worst.
Though fans and viewers may have varying opinions on the logo, FIFA claims the design is to promote inclusivity and diversity with a simple, interchangeable logo for hosting locations.
Another local logo displayed a more legible design with horizontal text above a fountain. The colors and graphics mimic the new Kansas City flag.
The World Cup logo branding has already been unleashed on the metro, so get used to it.
The KC Streetcar already features the new design and digital branding is cast throughout the metro. Union Station, Mill Creek Park, and the National WWI Museum are other locations that will receive branding along with a 9 p.m. light ceremony at the KC Cityscape.
While this visual makeover was the repeated point of celebration throughout the day’s presentations, low-key the more important story was the rollout of financial details across the board, including some official numbers finally assigned to some of the bigger asks from city and state taxpayer funding.
To host and prep for an international event, $50 million from Missouri taxpayers will be contributed to the soccer tournament.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson, in attendance today, revealed the $50 million during his speech and said he “didn’t want to put a lot of pressure” on Kansas Governor Laura Kelly. Kansas will be contributing $10 million to the World Cup projects.
“Now with the World Cup, this means even more infrastructure investment, business development, talent recruitment, and economic growth for Kansas City, and we look forward to KC2026 adding to the tremendous success we are seeing,” says Parson.
According to Mayor Quinton Lucas, the World Cup is expected to bring in opportunities for KC residents.
“The FIFA World Cup 2026 will bring jobs to our residents, generate hundreds of millions of dollars for our region, and will illustrate on a global stage what we’ve known for some time: Kansas City is the soccer capital of America. I can’t wait to welcome the world to Kansas City,” says Lucas.
Jackson County Executive Frank White states this is an “achievement” for Jackson County taxpayers, and the World Cup could not be done without them.
“As we’re looking forward to 2026, we will work alongside our partners to ensure that when the world turns the lights on, and the eyes are all on Jackson County, they’ll see us in our very best light,” says White.
Chairman and CEO of the Kansas City Chiefs Clark Hunt described KC as the underdog among the other cities that could have been selected to host the World Cup. Other proposals were submitted by Orlando, Denver, and Washington D.C.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for our community. Fans from every corner of the world will be introduced to our city and our region, and they will see what makes Kansas City a great place to live, work, and play,” says Hunt.
In the last 15 years, Kansas City has invested more than $600 million in soccer facilities.
Though the NFL Draft only lasted a weekend, some small businesses saw a dip in sales. Huge crowds and heavy traffic can deter consumers for a little, but a month-long international sporting event could potentially hurt small businesses for a longer period.