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Missouri goes the extra mile, signs World Cup bill into law

Kansas City, Mo. — On a rainy Thursday at Arrowhead Stadium, Gov. Mike Parson signed Senate Bill (SB) 652 into law. The bill places a sales tax exemption on tickets to 2026 World Cup games held in Jackson County.

The bill only applies to transactions between June 1 and July 31 of 2026, which is when the majority of World Cup ticket exchanges will take place.

Sen. John Rizzo, D- Jackson County, sponsored the bill, which is an identical piece of legislation to House Bill (HB) 2544 filed by Rep. Jonathan Patterson, R-Lee’s Summit.

The two legislators, who championed the bill in an effort to increase Kansas City’s chances of winning its World Cup host bid, flanked Parson as he signed.

Rizzo believes that the passing of SB 652 was instrumental in securing Kansas City its successful bid.

“I don’t believe that we even get in the conversation without this bill being passed,” Rizzo said on a phone call. “The fact we went the extra mile, and we passed the bill this year … pretty much all you need to know about how important it was — the only place that got the World Cup in the Midwest is the place that passed that bill.”

Kansas City is the lone representative from the nation’s heartland, the closest city to it being Dallas. Atlanta and Houston join Dallas and Kansas City as the U.S. cities in the Central region. Monterrey and Mexico City represent Mexico in the Central region.

“It’s a great responsibility, people are going to look to Kansas City and see the Midwest on full display in the heartland of America, and that’s the only look they’re going to get,” Rizzo said. “We have a big responsibility to make sure we do a great job, and I know that we will do a great job. But we have to make sure that we put the best foot forward.”

Rizzo said he hasn’t had any conversations about future legislation as the state prepares for the 2026 World Cup. He did note that there have been discussions he wasn’t a part of about upgrading Arrowhead Stadium, which will host World Cup games in Kansas City, during the event.

Featured Image: Sen. John Rizzo, D-Jackson County, and Rep. Jonathan Patterson, R-Lee’s Summit, and his son flank Gov. Mike Parson as he signs SB 652 in Kansas City on June 23, 2022. Rizzo and Patterson were the leading voices in getting SB 652 passed through the legislature. (Courtesy of Sen. John Rizzo)