The costs and benefits of hosting the World Cup

1 min Read Published: 11 Jun 2010

Today the World Cup kicks off in South Africa so I thought I’d bring you an infographic which shows how much it costs to stage the world’s premier sporting event.

It is often claimed that hosting the World Cup gives a major boost to the host economy but South Africa will end up spending $52 billion on infrastructure while the tournament is only expected to add about $2.7 billion to the country's GDP. Yes , FIFA will say that the host country benefits from improved infrastructure etc long after the tournament has finished but let’s be honest, the host nation has paid for it.

To put it another way, compare it to that World Cup themed barbeque you plan on hosting tomorrow. It will be great fun to see all your fiends and watch the game on your new TV. And for once you don’t have to travel which means that you both can have a drink. But the next day you’ll probably swear never to do it again as you clean up another pile of sick before making peace with your neighbours. Then of course you’ll discover that stack of unopened beer in the garage and your mood will brighten. Alas, this feeling of smugness will soon disappear as you remember that you paid for all the beer in the first place and you don’t even like Fosters. But hey…….it was a bloody good party.

  1. I agree with you that ‘the people of London deserve decent transport and housing regardless of the games’.

    But I’ve got to disagree that London hosting the Olympics is the height of foolishness. The Olympics is about the spectacle of sporting excellence, not about infrastructure developments.

    I’m proud and excited that such an event is going to be in London. Even if my council tax is paying for it and I’m unlikely to see and personal benefit.

  2. Don’t get me started on the cost of hosting the Olympic games. At least the world cup is hosted by countries or nations, just imagine asking a crowded city like London to host the Olympics was the height of all foolishness.

    The argument at the time was that it would be an opportunity build housing and improve the public transportation systems which would be used by my fellow cityfolk after the event – to which my response would always be: ‘the people of London deserve decent transport and housing regardless of the games’.

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