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Is the World Cup worth it? Infographic lets you be the judge.

July 7, 2014 Leave a comment

With the 2014 FIFA World Cup now whittled down to its semi-finals,  and Brazil, Germany, Netherlands, and Argentina ready to square off against each other to see who will play for soccer’s richest prize, it seems like a good time to evaluate whether the tournament has been worth what Brazil paid to get it. The hosts were (and always are, not unlike Olympic hosts) heavily criticized for their expenditures a midst troubling economic times for its citizens — especially considering that hosts get very little money back at tournament’s end,  or over the long term.

The folks at 188betblog.com have made an infographic showing the costs that many host countries paid for past World Cups, and the returns the event created for both the host and FIFA. You’ll be interested to know how expensive it is,  and you may even start questioning whether hosting the World Cup is actually worth it in the long run or not — if you weren’t already prior to seeing this evidence.
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WorldCup infographicThe 2014 World Cup is one of the biggest international sports events of the year, rivaling the Winter Olympics in Sochi held in February.  The World Cup is a celebration of football, a sport beloved by millions — if not billions — of fans from all corners of the world.

Fans are embracing the World Cup, but FIFA and other tournament organizers were concerned about the costs spent preparing for the tournament.  Many of the costs were tied up in stadium construction or investments in infrastructure.  On the flip side, the work stimulated thousands of jobs for the national economy.

But do those costs pay off over the long term? Economists predict Brazil will spend at least £8.6 billion ($14.5 billion), with some experts predicting the cost could even double that estimate.

If the total cost is finalized at the minimum projection, the bill will still be astronomically above the tabs for previous World Cup tournaments.  For example, South Africa spent approximately £2.6 billion ($4.5 billion) on the 2010 World Cup – only a fraction of the projected costs for Brazil.

What’s more concerning for the Brazilian economy is that history is not a comforting guide.  According to International Business Times, South Africa made back only 11 percent on a £2.6 billion ($4.5 billion) investment to host the 2010 World Cup – falling far short of initial estimated profits.

The same post mentions Brazil’s plans to bring home approximately £6.5 billion ($11 billion) in revenue from the 2014 World Cup.  Even if Brazil hits that goal, the revenue will still fall short of making back all the money invested into hosting the tournament.

The cost vs. benefit debate dates back to previous World Cups as well, with many experts questioning if hosting the World Cup is in a country’s best economic interests.  As costs and expectations continue rising with each passing year, is the payoff to host the World Cup really worthwhile?

Look Soccer, We Have to Talk….

June 23, 2010 14 comments

Look soccer, I tried.  I tried really hard to like you, and to even fall for you.  On your grandest stage of all, the World Cup, I’ve kept up to date on highlights, tried to get a feel for who’s good and who’s not, forced myself to watch “The Footy Show”, and in the end, I hate to break it to you but….I’m just not that into you. 

I’ll stand by my earlier claims that I respect the abilities of the top players in the game, and thoroughly enjoy playing the game; but as far as sitting at home at watching on TV, I’m going to have to pass. 

I feel like this point has been beaten to death over the years, but you guys gotta score more goals.  Scoring = excitement in all sports, 100% of the time.  I can’t pretend to be riveted to the action of another “nil-nil” scoreless draw.  As I’ve previously iterated, Your game features THE BIGGEST NET IN SPORTS, so someone fill that net already, especially in a tournament that allows you to pick up extra points in the standings for your team’s “Goals For”, in addition to wins, losses, and draws.  Oh yeah, by the way, points for a tie?  Isn’t this the playoffs?  There are no ties allowed in the playoffs of any sport, I thought this was unilaterally understood.  Someone win the freaking game already, you only get to compete every 4 years in this tournament, so go make your mark, don’t just be happy to be there.

And can someone please tell us, definitively, how much time is actually left in the game? 90 minutes is clearly not 90 minutes.  I think the whole injury time thing is a good idea; recouping all the time the divers have wasted, plus the legitimate stoppages.  But why does the referee have to keep this seemingly arbitrary number of game extension time so secret?  Why can’t it be displayed on the clock with the rest of the time; or even better, why can’t you just stop the clock all together for said stoppages??

It’s possible that because Canada sucks at soccer didn’t qualify for the tournament nor will they ever, I am less enthused about the whole event.  On a side note though, I heard you’ve been screwing the American team, so you’ve got that going for you; keep it up, you’ll win Canadians over yet.  After spending a year in South Korea, I’ve found myself rooting for them a bit; also for the home South Africans because of friends we have there, and for the old standby’s of Brazil, Italy, and England.  Wasn’t France supposed to be good too?  But after a while, you realize there’s like a bazillion teams (well, 32) competing, and that just seems like such an obtuse number of squads competing at once.  Can’t you just narrow down the field a bit more before calling the tournament?  I mean, you’ve had 4 years to whittle down the numbers, it’s not like you were short on time or anything…   

I feel like comparing your game to China; in that we’ve been hearing for years now that China is going to take over the world in all aspects, and we’d all better learn to speak Chinese or we’ll all be screwed and have no future.  I’ve been hearing how soccer is the most popular sport in the world (probably true, in the global sense) and how it’s eventually going to be all the rave in North America.  Well, bad news for both hopefuls – I’m getting tired of waiting, and the language I’ve been speaking and the sports I’ve been playing all my life seem just fine they way they are (If China wins the World Cup, I’ll sign up for Mandarin classes).

I’ll give you one thing though, I DO like those vuvuzelas.  Seriously, I think they’re great.  I’m not sure if they’re an African thing or not, but if they are, no one should be saying a thing about banning them.  If that’s a cultural thing, let it be.  They sing during games in Europe, let them blow horns in Africa; why is this worth so many people getting angry about, and people having to invent software to edit them out of broadcasts?  I think it adds a unique flavour to the tournament.

I resolve to continue to be a casual soccer fan.  I’ll probably watch the final, and the odd highlight package, but don’t expect much more from me.  Unless they give all the players sticks.  And they let the players bodycheck.  And they pour water on the field and freeze it.  When those things happen, let me know, and we’ll talk.  Until then…..

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