Philanthropic group to bring 20,000 to city

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  Shriners International has selected Kansas City to host its 2020 National Convention, July 5-9, 2020. An estimated 20,000 Shriners and their ladies are expected to attend, generating 11,000 room nights and pouring nearly $18 million into the local economy. Visit KC announced the significant booking on Thursday at a joint press conference with Shriners, Mayor Sly James and the Kansas City Convention Center.

“We are delighted to hold our 146th Imperial Session for Shriners International in KC in 2020,” said Jeff Sowder, Imperial Potentate, Shriners International. “We chose Kansas City because it is centrally located, so it will be easy for everyone to get to. Kansas City has all the facilities we need and a first- class convention center.”

This convention is the city’s largest booking in terms of room nights so far in 2020. The last time the Shriners held their Imperial Session here was in 1976. In addition to the aforementioned, the convention hotel is attributed to securing this convention.

“Attracting the Shrine Imperial Session -- one of the best group of visitors any city could hope to welcome -- is a tribute to Kansas City’s increasing appeal and to the hard work of Ronnie Burt and his Visit KC staff,” Mayor Sly James said. “The entire city will feel the impact, and I know we will further enhance the destination appeal for which we are becoming known nationwide.”

About Shriners International
In 1922 the Shriners founded the first Shriners Hospitals for Children in Shreveport, Louisiana. Since then this unique philanthropy has grown to an extraordinary health system with 22 facilities in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Shriners Hospitals for Children is changing lives every day through innovative pediatric specialty care, world-class research and outstanding medical education. Shriners Hospitals provide advanced care for children with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate. In order to continue its mission, Shriners Hospitals for Children relies on the generous donations of Shriners and the general public. Shriners International is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and all donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law. For more information, visit

About Visit KC
Visit KC is a non-profit organization whose mission is to ignite global passion for visiting Kansas City. Through marketing, sales and service of the convention and tourism industries, Visit KC supports a vital and growing component of the local economy—generating more than 45,000 jobs and $4.6 billion in economic impact annually. For more information about Kansas City, go to

Media Contacts

Derek Byrne
Derek Byrne (KC/Regional Media)
Visit KC
Derek Klaus
Derek Klaus (National Media)

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