Qatar’s minister of finance said in 2017 the country was spending $500 million per week on infrastructure projects including roads, hotels, stadiums and airport upgrades to prepare the small Middle Eastern nation to host the world’s largest sporting event. It will be, by far, the most expensive World Cup in history. Qatar is estimated to have spent as much as $220 billion in the dozen years since being chosen as a World Cup host in late 2010, more than 15 times what Russia spent for the 2018 event.
The country has come under intense scrutiny for the hundreds, potentially even thousands of workers, many of whom are from other countries, who died while working under intense conditions for minimal pay to keep the massive projects on track.
Even now, it’s unclear whether the “bold risk” Qatar asked FIFA to make in allowing the country to host will pay off for either the organization or the home country. Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter said last week that the decision to let Qatar host was a “bad choice.”
“It’s a country that’s too small,” Blatter told Swiss newspaper group Tamedia. “Football and the World Cup are too big for that.”
Any potential controversy will do little to slow the large amounts of money being invested, sponsored, gambled, or earned during the 29-day global phenomenon. Before the World Cup begins, these are the most important dollar figures:
$13,000: The amount of money a bettor would earn on a $100 wager on the U.S. winning the World Cup. The USMNT have +500, or 5-to-1, odds of winning their group, which would require them to finish ahead of England, Wales, and Iran.
$42 million: The prize money awarded to the team that wins it all. FIFA allows each team to decide what share of the purse players receive.
$60 million: The reported annual value of Nike’s deal to sponsor the French Football Federation. Nike has deals of various sizes with 13 nations in the 32-team field, the most of any apparel brand. Seven teams will wear Adidas gear and six will wear Puma. New Balance, Hummel, Kappa, Majid, Marathon, and One All Sports sponsor one nation each.
$128 million: The highest-paid player is France’s Kylian Mbappé, who’ll make $110 million on the field this year through his contract with Paris Saint-Germain, and another $18 million off the field, according to Forbes estimates. He could earn an additional relatively small bonus based on France’s results in the tournament.
$209 million: The amount that soccer clubs around the world receive from a fund set aside by FIFA to reward them for developing players who play in the tournament for their national teams. The amount is approximately $10,000 per day per player. The fund has tripled since the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
$277 million: The widely reported amount David Beckham was paid by Qatar to serve as an ambassador for the 2022 World Cup, paid out in installments over 10 years.
$440 million: The total prize pool for the 2022 World Cup, up from $400 million in 2018. By comparison, the 2019 Women’s World Cup prize pool was $30 million.
$1.7 billion: The costs covered by FIFA for this year’s World Cup, with the largest expenditures being prize money, operational expenses like hospitality and logistics ($322 million), and TV operations ($247 million).
$1.8 billion: The amount estimated to be gambled on this year’s World Cup in just the U.S., according to the American Gaming Association. More than 20 million Americans are expected to wager on the event.
$4.7 billion: FIFA’s expected revenue from the World Cup, according to its 2022 budget. TV broadcast rights account for $2.64 billion and marketing rights bring in another $1.35 billion, while ticket sales and hospitality rights add up to $500 million.
$6.5 billion to $10 billion: The range of estimates on how much Qatar spent to build seven soccer stadiums for this year’s World Cup. After the event, sections of the stadiums will be deconstructed and donated to other countries, and the buildings repurposed into community space for schools, shops, cafes, sporting facilities, and health clinics. One venue, Stadium 974, was built using recycled shipping containers and will be entirely dismantled and removed.
$14.2 billion: Russia’s total costs associated with hosting the 2018 World Cup, according to the Moscow Times. The biggest line items included transport infrastructure ($6.11 billion), stadium construction ($3.45 billion), and accommodations ($680 million).
$220 billion: An estimated cost of what Qatar spent over the past ten years in preparation for the World Cup. Government officials have never confirmed the number, but in 2017, Qatar’s minister of finance said the country was spending $500 million per week on capital projects.
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