In The Loop: June 19, 2022
Your connection to Downtown Kansas City
HOLY SOCCER BALLS! KANSAS CITY IS A FIFA WORLD CUP 2026 HOST CITY!
Against all odds (Kansas City is by far the smallest metro region among the 16 North American cities selected by FIFA), our town will be hosting World Cup soccer games in 2026! People from around the world, and from around the U.S., will be visiting KC, Missouri, Kansas, and the Midwest. Foreign languages will be spoken on every street corner. Kansas City barbecue will never be more scrutinized. Thousands upon thousands of visitors will have no idea who George Brett was (or possibly even who Patrick Mahomes is). And people from Seville, Spain, might even feel somewhat at home on the Plaza.
This is such a huge event—the largest event in Kansas City history—that it’s impossible right now to predict the ways in which this spectacle will change Kansas City physically, culturally, and in the eyes of the rest of the world. There’s a lot of work to be done, some problems to be solved, some weaknesses to be strengthened, and some politics and greed to be avoided—but for right now, let us all celebrate and look forward to welcoming the world to our home.
You can read more about the World Cup in the “Links” section below.
Oh, and if you know anyone interested in the domains kcworldcup.com or kcworldcup.soccer … I know a guy. You’ll find the KC prices are much more reasonable than these now-defunct Denver listings….
Also, did you know? The Loop has content you probably haven’t seen beyond this email. 📨
I was joined for coffee by my good friend and former Kansas Citian Jim Hense, visiting from Los Angeles earlier this week, and he made it known to me that not everyone is aware that this email you are reading is only one part of the larger KC Downtown Loop publication available to readers.
Yes, you can go to kcdowntownloop.com for email and story archives, cartoons, Downtown Digs features, extra content not published in the email (like the story about the manhole in my yard) and more. Paid subscribers have access to everything, but there’s a lot of content for free subscribers, too. Check it out!
The KC Downtown Loop is a reader-supported publication. To receive full access and support our work, consider becoming a paid subscriber.
Fifty years ago this Wednesday, The Rolling Stones performed in Kansas City for the very first time. The sold-out show of more than 10,000 fans was held at Municipal Auditorium and, get this: Stevie Wonder was the opening act!
As was happening frequently across the Stones’ 1972 American tour, a number of people without tickets tried to force their way in. About 75 fans tried to do so at Municipal, and 15 people were arrested amidst a large police presence. Seventy-five KCPD officers worked inside and outside the concert that night, and 15 more were called in for back-up when those fans outside tried to breach the doors without tickets.
Nearby Downtown hotels also beefed up security and locked down their establishments, making it impossible for anyone to enter without a room key.
When Stevie Wonder was announced, Star reporter A.M. Horton wrote, “a roar from the audience shook the vast auditorium.”
When the Stones took the stage, kicking off with their song “Brown Sugar,” fans “leaped to their feet or climbed onto their chairs,” Horton reported.
Tickets to the show were $6.50.
This Thursday in 1957 marks the day when the last Kansas City streetcar made its final run as part of what was once the third-largest system in America. The first horse-drawn streetcars appeared in in KC in 1870, followed by electric cars in the late 19th century. Ridership in peaked in 1922 at a whopping 136.8 million riders annually. (For reference, the today’s KC streetcar, in its relative infancy, serves just over two million riders per year.) With 500 streetcars in the region at one point, Kansas City’s system was one of the largest in all of North America, and it remains mind-boggling to me how many routes and stops once existed in our city.
As the Kansas City Times pointed out the day after the last voyage, many Kansas Citians were saddened by the decommissioning of the streetcar system, but it was “a gay and chummy occasion” and a day when “nothing but good cheer and fellowship prevailed …. Persons stood out in their yards to wave friendly greetings as the car moseyed along.”
The streetcar operator lingered at his stops that day, allowing citizens to snap photos or perhaps even hop on for one last ride.
Happy Juneteenth, Kansas City! Most of the Juneteenth events around KC happened yesterday, but celebrations of black culture can be found year-round on the JuneteenthKC website here:
LINK: JuneteenthKC website
Happening today at the National World War I Museum and Memorial is an exhibition called “Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow.” From the end of the Civil War to the end of WWI, this exhibit explores the central role played by African Americans in advocating for their rights–and the depth of the opposition to them.
I just recently started taking the RideKC bus from our Midtown home to my Downtown office, and I’ve been really happy that my wife Karen and I can remain a one-car couple. After moving from our previous home in the River Market where we often rode the streetcar, we thought we might be forced to buy a second car until the streetcar extension arrives in 2025. However, with the bus, we are able to still save on gas, maintenance, and insurance by not buying a second vehicle. Woot!
Recently, however, I’ve encountered delayed or canceled schedules, unusual routes, and fewer buses available. I still find the bus valuable and helpful, but the issues raised in this Kansas City Star article should be concerning to everyone in the metro—especially as we prepare for an international event where visitors will be expecting robust and reliable mass transportation. I’m privileged to be able to work from home if needed, and I have no strict hours demanded by an employer, so riding the bus is usually an option, not a requirement, for me. For others who depend on the bus, though, we need to ensure that everyone has safe, reliable transportation to get to work, to healthcare, to education, to community and civic events, and more.
Residents and owners of condominium units at the troubled Park Reserve development at the old Trinity Lutheran Hospital site may finally find some form of relief … and hope. NorthPoint Development of Kansas City North—the nation’s largest industrial developer behind Amazon—is proposing a $122 million plan that would fix flooding, mold threats, and other problems to current buildings while adding density with new construction. The Kansas City Business Journal has details about the project at 31st and Main:
And speaking of 31st and Main, as you may recall, a local historic district application was filed by 4th District council representatives for the properties located across the street from Park Reserve. The application triggers a temporary hold on demolition.
Case No CH-PRES-2022-00001, 31st & Main Historic District will be heard by the Historic Preservation Commission on Friday, June 24, at 9 a.m. via Zoom. This is the first of a three-part public hearing process. Only if the Historic Preservation Commission affirms the application by five votes will the case advance to the City Plan Commission.
So what can you do? Well, I’m glad you asked!
Support the historic designation of 31st and Main by submitting a letter or email of support no later than 5 p.m.. Thursday, June 23, to email@example.com.
No fancy jargon necessary. Just a quick note with “Case No CH-PRES-2022-00001” in the subject line to let them know you want to save these buildings. If you wrote to support these buildings the first time—write ’em again!
This Tuesday, on the longest day of the year, KC will again participate in Make Music Day KC—a live, free musical celebration with concerts on streets, sidewalks, venues, and parks across the city. The festival is held on the same day in more than 1,000 cities in 120 countries. For information on how to catch up with all of the free performances in our town, how to support the organization, or how to become a music maker yourself, visit here:
LINKS: THE WORLD CUP 2026
Local, national, and international World Cup stories
KCUR 89.3 FM: Kansas City will host World Cup soccer matches in 2026
NASHVILLE TENNESSEAN: 'A missed opportunity': Why Nashville lost bid to host 2026 FIFA World Cup
THE GUARDIAN (U.K.): World Cup 2026: Host city reveal lays bare sprawling, money-spinning affair
Artful City: One weekly selection with a Downtown connection
Quick Clip: The city in motion—just a few seconds at a time
Downtown Lens: A single image depicting the urban aesthetic
Answering the question “Who are all these people and where are they going?”, The Loop brings you a list of some of the biggest events happening Downtown each week. Please give a friendly Downtown-Kansas City welcome to audiences and attendees of….
Carin Leon at the Midland
Kansas City Symphony presents Sleeping Beauty with Sibelius' Violin Concerto, last performance at Kauffman Center
Titanic continues through July 3rd at the Music Theater Heritage
TUESDAY the 21st
Ain’t Too Proud - The Life and Times of the Temptations continues through the 26th at the Music Hall
Fitz & the Tantrums and St. Paul & the Broken Bones at GrindersKC
THURSDAY the 23rd
Miller Lite Hot Country Nights at KC Live! Block in P&L
FRIDAY the 24th
Kansas City Symphony presents Ode to Joy: Beethoven's Ninth, continues through the 26th at Kauffman Center
Montage at KC Live! Block in P&L
SATURDAY the 25th
Big Slick - Party & Show at the T-Mobile Center
For a more exhaustive list of everything happening Downtown, go to the VisitKC events page and use the “regions” function to search for Downtown, Westside/Southwest Blvd, West Bottoms, River Market, Power & Light, Crown Center, Crossroads, 18th & Vine—or anywhere you want to go in the KC Metro
Until next week—enjoy the city!
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Kansas City, MO 64105
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