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Jesús Alejandro Aguilar Canché

Economic benefits obtained by the host countries of the Soccer World Cup

- The World Cup represents a golden opportunity to support an economy by taking advantage of the world's attention.

Economic benefits obtained by the host countries of the Soccer World Cup

From a penalty shootout after one hundred and twenty minutes of regulation time in Berlin to Mario Götze scoring the only goal in the final in Rio de Janeiro to crown Germany and shatter the dreams of the Argentine nation; The Soccer World Cup is one of the most important spectacles on the planet. With an audience of up to 1.12 billion people (FIFA 2018), the impact of this sporting event on society is undeniable, and even more so on the economic development of the country or countries involved in the organization.

It is common to think that the glory goes to the team of the winning country but we must not overlook the intrinsic winners, the organizers. The task of planning a World Cup is colossal, not only does the initiative have to be presented with time and estimates that may or may not materialize in the desired period, but it means a sensitive movement for the economy of the country that volunteered to host football competition. Any mistake can compromise the reputation of the tournament and even take a step back in the economic development of the host, however, when done correctly, the benefits are by no means modest.


It is probably the first benefit mentioned when talking about a World Cup. For example, Qatar expects to host 1.2 million tourists during the next World Cup, almost half of its current population (Reuters 2022). With that number of people entering the Arab country, they hope to reproduce the 14 billion dollars that Russia added to its economy in 2018 once the tournament is over. While these numbers are impressive on their own, it must be remembered that tourism tends to plummet back to its original numbers once the event is over. (Adentuji 2022)

Indirectly, however, hosting the tournament provides a curious side effect: countries gain additional travelers up to two years after the mega-event has ended. This is because the World Cup not only serves to attract people, but also to show that the country is more than willing to receive tourists and foreign investors, so that it is projected to the international community as an actor open to business.


This benefit is, in part, a consequence of tourism. Hosting so many fans is an easy task for some countries and monumental for others. On the one hand, as an example, there is France, which had to build the Stade de France in 1998, when they hosted the World Cup, which they won with two goals from Zinedine Zidane and one from Emmanuel Petit; On the other hand, there is Qatar, which built seven new stadiums by 2022, with emphasis on the Doha Stadium. Due to its historical development, as well as its economic and labor force, France did not invest even half of what Qatar did when hosting the World Cup. (White 2014).

Infrastructure spending is a long-term investment that solidifies the quality of life for a country's population by creating roads, improving street lighting, and providing new transportation routes. However, it can highlight the lack of planning if it is not carried out correctly and in advance. The construction of roads, airports and hotels to accommodate so many people varies between countries depending on their development. The United States of America enjoyed minimal infrastructure spending for the 1994 World Cup, Japan and South Korea spent $4.5 billion. Brazil, for its part, spent almost a billion dollars on Brasilia's Mané Garrincha National Stadium, which hosted the championship's third-place game and is now used as a bus parking lot. (Zimbalist 2015)

Jobs and taxes

Carrying out the aforementioned is an arduous task that requires a large number of people, so the construction or remodeling involved in hosting the World Cup generates jobs in the host economies. The 2018 World Cup in Russia provided 200,000 new jobs in the country; Germany reported creating 500,000 and South Africa cited 159,000. The arrival of the most important soccer competition on the planet brings with it an enormous need for personnel, both labor and service providers to control and take advantage of the flow of people that will enter the country. (Suarez 2022)

Those States that have the benefit of having tourist infrastructure, such as areas of bars and restaurants, take advantage of the event to collect taxes generated during the contest. The economic benefit of the consumption of tourists and locals in certain cities means a benefit for the government, who will be receiving an advance on their investment at the beginning of the tournament, when all the teams and fans are in the country, full of hopes and dreams. about winning the trophy.

A goal outside the area as an own goal

For the World Cup in North America in 2026, it is expected that each city that hosts at least one World Cup game will enjoy an economic benefit of between 160 and 620 million dollars, with a net impact ranging from 90 to 480 million once deducted. the corresponding costs and taxes. Mexico will have the opportunity to take advantage of ten matches in three already selected cities (Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey) to show itself as a country willing to maintain a constant rate of tourism and attract more foreign investment to the country.

In all, the World Cup tournament is a mega spectacle that represents a sensible move that must be executed correctly to avoid plunging a country into debt. The World Cup is a true litmus test for the economy of the States, although sometimes it can be shared in coalitions, such as that of Japan and South Korea in 2002 and as it will be between Canada, Mexico and the United States during 2026.


    Adetunji, J. (22 de septiembre de 2022). Hosting the FIFA World Cup brings benefits. But not as many as politicians claim. The Conversation.

    Figueroa, F. (17 de junio de 2022). Mundial 2026, por el boom en la economía deportiva de México. El Economista.

    Fútbol Internacional La FIFA da a conocer la audiencia que tuvo el Mundial de Rusia 2018. (21 de diciembre de 2018). MARCA.

    Marcin, Kobierecki Michał and Strożek Piotr. "Sports Mega-Events and Shaping the International Image of States: How Hosting the Olympic Games and FIFA World Cups Affects Interest in Host Nations." International Politics 58, no. 1 (02, 2021): 49-70. doi:

    Mills, A. (12 de octubre de 2022). Expect World Cup congestion, amid Qatar's "challenging" four-game daily schedule, say organisers. Reuters.

    Suárez, J. (10 de julio de 2022). The Economic Impact Hosting a World Cup Has on a Nation. Supplier Diversity Data and Management Solutions by

    White, Shannon. "Bidding for Fool's Gold? the Uncertain Benefits of Hosting the World Cup." Chicago Policy Review (Online) (Aug 19, 2014).

    Zimbalist, Andrew. Circus Maximus : The Economic Gamble Behind Hosting the Olympics and the World Cup. Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2015. Recuperado el 13 de octubre, 2022. ProQuest Ebook Central.

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Aguilar, Jesús. “Beneficios económicos que obtienen los países sede de la Copa Mundial de Fútbol.” CEMERI, 14 oct. 2022,