The FIFA World Cup, which kicked off on Sunday, takes years of planning, billions of dollars invested, and attracts an estimated 2 million fans to host country Qatar.
- Middle Eastern country Qatar of 3 million people is hosting the FIFA World Cup this year and will bring close to 2 million fans to the country.
- The international sponsoring federation FIFA will spend $1.7 billion to operate the month-long tournament and associated events—this includes $440 million in prize money, $247 million for TV operations, and more.
- FIFA will earn about $4.7 billion in revenue, earning itself a significant profit.
- The nation of Qatar has spent around $220 billion readying itself for the tournament—building stadiums, a rail line, and other infrastructure.
- Qatar is expecting 1.3 million ticket buyers to attend the games and around 5 billion to tune in virtually—bringing in a large amount of money.
Why it’s news
The FIFA World Cup is one of the most watched sporting events in the world—with an estimated 5 billion viewers tuning in to watch this year.
Qatar has been planning for the better part of the decade—and will unlikely get an immediate payback for its 12-figure investment.
As mentioned, FIFA will cover the $1.7-billion operating costs for the duration of the cup—about $440 million in prize money, $247 million for TV operations, $326 million for costs of the competing clubs, and $207 million for workforce management. It is expected that FIFA will receive $4.7 billion in revenue from ticket sales, sponsorships, and merchandising, with a net gain of $3 billion.
FIFA will take approximately 10% of this for its own operations and will distribute the balance to the 200-plus national soccer associations across the globe to promote the sport’s development, according to Sportico writer Andrew Zimbalist.
For Qatar the country has spent around $220 billion in preparation to host the cup. Around $10 billion was for the seven stadiums to host the games, and $36 billion for a rail line, and the rest was for security, hotels, and communications.
Though spent over 10 years, the amount is 20% more than the nation’s entire annual GDP of $180 billion.
Official World Cup beer sponsor Budweiser tweeted “this is awkward” when Qatar announced there would be no beer sales in or near the stadiums.