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Is hosting the World Cup worth it?
Every four years, soccer fans gather and watch their favourite teams and countries compete for the ultimate title—World Cup Champions. Although the competition only happens every few years, host-countries are informed ahead of time to prepare for the hefty price tag. The 2018 FIFA World Cup host, Russia, is reportedly spending around $11 billion.
That amount typically accounts for upgraded infrastructure and facilities to accommodate both tourists and players. FIFA only covers the operating costs for the event itself. Additional improvements to things like transportation and infrastructure are in the host nation’s hands. Brazil, the host for the 2014 competition, spent roughly $15 billion. That’s a massive jump from the $4 billion that South Africa spent back in 2010.
There is also a persistent debate on whether or not hosting the tournament is worth it in the long-run, economically. Russia estimates, however, that hosting will boost their economy anywhere from about $26 billion to $30 billion through tourism and investment benefits.
Future host countries are preparing for the costs too. Qatar is hosting the 2022 World Cup and is spending an estimated $200 billion—$500 million per week—on World Cup projects. Meanwhile, the United States, Canada and Mexico will be joint hosts for the 2026 World Cup.
Originally published as This Is How Much It Costs for a Country to Host the World Cup on ReadersDigest.com.