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After the World Cup, local attorney prepares for role in 2026 tournament

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The 2022 World Cup final was one for the ages, and now, a Springfield attorney is preparing for his role in the 2026 tournament coming to the Americas.

Joseph Passanise, managing partner for Wampler & Passanise Law Office PC, is heavily involved in the game of soccer. For the 2026 tournament, Passanise says he's serving as a member of the state’s World Cup organizing team.

He discussed his role and the economic impact the tournament is expected to bring to Missouri yesterday during Springfield Business Journal's 12 People You Need to Know live interview series. The event was held at The Backlot, Alamo Drafthouse Springfield's restaurant and bar.

"They are anticipating an economic impact of $500 million to $1 billion," Passanise said of the Kansas City region. "Believe it or not, Springfield is going to be a spillover city."

Additionally, Passanise noted, the 2026 World Cup games scheduled in Kansas City will coincide with the centennial of Route 66. He believes that will be an extra boon to the Springfield area, where Route 66 is a tourism draw, particularly by Europeans.

After the excitement of this year's World Cup, Passanise said soccer fans in Europe and worldwide are preparing for a potential trip to the United States in 2026.

"They're already trying to book hotels," he said. "Having the World Cup, a world event ... we are blessed to have this opportunity."

Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium, the 77,000-seat home field of the Chiefs football team, will host up to seven matches in the 2026 games, Springfield Business Journal previously reported.

The second largest metro city in Missouri, with a population of 2.2 million, is the only Midwestern site in the successful United 2026 bid for the games by the United States, Canada and Mexico. The countries are partnering to provide 16 sites for the 80-game tournament. The U.S. will host 60 of the 80 matches, all in NFL stadiums, with the other venues in Atlanta; Boston; Dallas; East Rutherford, New Jersey; Houston; Los Angeles; Miami; Philadelphia; Santa Clara, California; and Seattle.

"The World Cup in 2026 will be 45 days, and it will be like having five or six Super Bowls back to back," Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe previously told SBJ. “The ripple effect from the World Cup is estimated to be a 200-mile radius.”


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