Send us to the World Cup

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

TOTAL: £1750

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.

  1. 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
  2. According to Skyscanner I can fly return from LHR to Moscow for £219. At that rate I might go there on holiday.
  3. 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.
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