Economic Impact of FIFA World Cup

By June 18, 2018Blog
FIFA United 2026

Written By:  William Mellor VP at AngelouEconomics and Maurice Ondoy Project Contributor at AngelouEconomics | Economic Impact of Bringing the FIFA World Cup to North America

The North American continent hasn’t been on the best of terms lately, but in a major show of collaboration, the US and its closest allies put together a winning bid for the 2026 World Cup. The bid, known at United 2026, was led by the United States Soccer Federation as well as sites in Canada and Mexico as co-hosts. The joint bid’s plans call for 60 of the 80 games to be played in the United States — including all matches from the quarterfinals onward — while Canada and Mexico host 10 apiece. The final is expected to be played at MetLife Stadium, just outside New York. Bringing the World Cup to North America is expected to produce a staggering impact of $14 billion and could mean as much as $50 million more in impacts to each member nation.   Economic Impact of FIFA on North America - United 2026Image Source: 

With such great news, now is a great time to talk about the economic impact of World Cups historically, as well as report on the projected impact to Russia later this summer.  

The World Cup is a soccer tournament that brings the world’s greatest players from the world’s greatest teams together once every four years. It’s the biggest sporting event in the world and it features 32 countries, all of which qualified via regional competitions.

Soccer is enjoyed all over the world by both players and fans alike. Likewise, the impact of World Cup is not isolated to the sports industry. Since the World Cup begin in 1930, the occurrence of the international tournament has elevated the global economy significantly. It has provided lifetime recreational opportunity for millions of people, created millions of jobs, and generated billions of dollars in total economic activity. Moreover, the World Cup has been strengthening economic development opportunities and generating tax revenues for local communities, not just in the economy of the host country but also in the places where it is most celebrated.

What’s the World Cup Worth? Here are the Quick Facts on the Economic Impact of the World Cup:

  • 3.2 billion people (almost half of the world’s population) tuned in to watch the 2014 World Cup
  • Commonly used estimates indicat that the past three World Cups would generate a positive economic impact of $9 billion to Japan and South Korea in 2002; $12 billion to Germany in 2006, and $5 billion to South Africa in 2010
  • According to the FIFA organizers, this summer’s World Cup could have a total impact on the Russian economy of nearly $31 billion
  • The boost for the country’s GDP could amount to between 1.62 trillion rubles ($26 billion) and 1.92 trillion rubles ($30.8 billion) over the 10 years from 2013 through to 2023
  • Jobs in Russia, the host country of this year’s FIFA World Cup, increased by approximately 13,000 people in the construction industry to construct and renovate 10 stadiums
  • Approximately 222,000 jobs were created in Russia and supported by FIFA World Cup
  • 1,000,000 international guests are expected to visit Russia for the World Cup
  • In terms of tourism, there is 71% increase in the volume of tourist services in host cities from 2011 to 2015, while there is 57% increase in the number of domestic tourists who have stayed in the host cities’ hotels from 2011 to 2015
  • 11 Host Cities are included in this year’s World Cup

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