Why the U.S. Should Host the 2022 World Cup

Qatar is struggling badly to get ready for the 2022 World Cup. With infrastructure already in place, the United States could easily host the tournament and cash in in the process.

Jul 10, 2014 at 11:11AM

Images

Brazil is as soccer-crazed as any nation on Earth, but with its government spending $14 billion to host the 2014 World Cup, there are waves of protests from people who believe that money would have been better spent on health care and education.

As Qatar struggles to get itself ready to host the 2022 games, there is a growing belief that the games will end up here in the United States. While other countries have struggled with the undertaking, it could prove an economic boon for America due to the plethora of already-built NFL stadiums that could be used.

Qatar is spending more than $200 billion to prepare itself to host those games -- building its sports infrastructure from scratch. But with a bubbling bribery scandal, project delays, and abhorrent working conditions that have already killed thousands or workers, there is a push to take the games away from the Middle Eastern country before things get worse. It's time for the United States to push FIFA, soccer's governing body, to bring the tournament here.

The U.S. could host the games tomorrow
The United States, with dozens of large football stadiums spread throughout its major cities, could host a World Cup tournament next month, if needed -- never mind eight years from now. 

When the United States hosted the World Cup in 1994, the country spent approximately $30 million to prepare itself, or about $46.2 million in today's dollars. Those costs boiled down to a few stadium upgrades in Detroit and Dallas. Otherwise, the country was good to go.

During that tournament, the United States set a tournament record that still stands, with nearly 70,000 fans attending each game -- almost 3.6 million for the whole tournament -- thanks, in part, to the large capacity of the stadiums.

That's a far cry from even the $3.6 billion Brazil spent this year to build or refurbish stadiums for this year's games, along with all the other infrastructure costs needed to host the games -- not to mention the $200 billion Qatar is spending on a plan that looks increasingly less likely to be completed on time.

Hosting games typically a loser
Global sporting events such as the World Cup and the Olympics have come under fire in recent years over the amount of money they cost to host. The next Olympics to be awarded, the 2022 Winter Olympics, has seen a long list of potential hosts bailing on their Olympic dreams over concerns about cost.

The majority of that comes down to building the venues, like large swimming pools, track-and-field stadiums, and bobsled tracks. That's how Sochi, Russia, can ring up $50 billion in debt to host the games, leaving the town with a bunch of facilities that won't be used again.

That would not be the case in bringing the World Cup back to the United States. With venues already in place, the country would need little in infrastructure spending to get prepared for what could be a nice boost economically.

Alan Rothenberg, who was president of the U.S. Soccer Federation in 1994 and was head of the World Cup Organizing Committee, said at the time that hosting the tournament brought the country $4 billion in economic activity, including $623 million for the Los Angeles area, which hosted the finale between Brazil and Italy at the Rose Bowl.

Soccer growing in popularity here
That was also at a time when soccer was less mainstream in the United States. In recent years, ESPN, NBC, and Fox have been regularly broadcasting international soccer games such as England's Premier League to American audiences. That, along with the Internet, has allowed more access to the game's fans and helped create new ones.

Those things did not exist in 1994, and the tournament was seen as more of a curious oddity than it would be if it were played here today.

It makes sense to bring the games here. Qatar is struggling to be ready for the games, and the process that awarded the country the hosting duties is a black eye to the sport. Changing course and bringing the games to the United States is the easy and smart solution. It's time for American officials to push to make that happen.

You can't afford to miss this
"Made in China" -- an all too familiar phrase. But not for much longer: There's a radical new technology out there, one that's already being employed by the U.S. Air Force, BMW and even Nike. Respected publications like The Economist have compared this disruptive invention to the steam engine and the printing press; Business Insider calls it "the next trillion dollar industry." Watch The Motley Fool's shocking video presentation to learn about the next great wave of technological innovation, one that will bring an end to "Made In China" for good. Click here!

Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Money to your ears - A great FREE investing resource for you

The best way to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as “binge-worthy finance.”

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:03PM

Whether we're in the midst of earnings season or riding out the market's lulls, you want to know the best strategies for your money.

And you'll want to go beyond the hype of screaming TV personalities, fear-mongering ads, and "analysis" from people who might have your email address ... but no track record of success.

In short, you want a voice of reason you can count on.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich," rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

And one of the easiest, most enjoyable, most valuable ways to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as "binge-worthy finance."

Whether you make it part of your daily commute or you save up and listen to a handful of episodes for your 50-mile bike rides or long soaks in a bubble bath (or both!), the podcasts make sense of your money.

And unlike so many who want to make the subjects of personal finance and investing complicated and scary, our podcasts are clear, insightful, and (yes, it's true) fun.

Our free suite of podcasts

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. The show is also heard weekly on dozens of radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers are timeless, so it's worth going back to and listening from the very start; the other three are focused more on today's events, so listen to the most recent first.

All are available for free at www.fool.com/podcasts.

If you're looking for a friendly voice ... with great advice on how to make the most of your money ... from a business with a lengthy track record of success ... in clear, compelling language ... I encourage you to give a listen to our free podcasts.

Head to www.fool.com/podcasts, give them a spin, and you can subscribe there (at iTunes, Stitcher, or our other partners) if you want to receive them regularly.

It's money to your ears.

 


Compare Brokers