Lots of mithering on Twitter today about how England aren’t hosting the 2018 World Cup and Russia are. Well, let’s think about this. We’re in a big financial crisis where people don’t have any money. Some might say that that’s more important than splurging an infinite amount of cash on the World Cup. But that’s a miserable and football-hating point of view, and I like football. So let’s think about it a different way.
How much does it cost to host the World Cup? According to the Telegraph and PriceWaterhouseCoopers, “it would cost £5.3 billion to stage the World Cup but bring a net economic benefit of £3.2 billion.” So it’ll cost £2.1 billion. That’s £2,100,000,000. A phenomenal amount of money. But people want the world cup; what can you do?
I know. Let’s imagine that a ticket to a World Cup game costs £90 (average match ticket price for 2010 was $139). So, a trip to the World Cup might cost this:
Tickets to 5 games: £90 × 5 = £450
Three weeks in a hotel1: £50 × 21 = £1050
Return flights to Russia2: £250
So that £2.1 billion will buy a three week stay in Moscow with tickets to watch five matches for over a million people. Let’s say the government only bought the tickets for half a million people, and spent that left-over billion quid on making schools better. That’s still five hundred thousand residents of Britain who get to see the World Cup.3
Good luck getting that many into Old Trafford.
- Gotta be able to get this rate, surely, if you buy this many tickets. If not, HMG need to boot their price negotiators in the arse, since I got Travelodge rooms for £19/night earlier this year ↩
- According to Skyscanner I can fly return from LHR to Moscow for £219. At that rate I might go there on holiday. ↩
- Free benefit: everyone who cares about the World Cup will be in Russia and I won’t have to be annoyed by flags on every fucking car on the motorway. ↩