The World Cup in Numb3rs

Picture of Brazil

News & Insights

Alistair Hardie

13th June 2014 at 2:48pm

It’s now just hours since the greatest football event on earth kicked off. The FIFA World Cup returns to its spiritual home in Brazil where the samba beats will be turned up to the max as the hosts look to add to their record haul of 5 world cups.

32 teams representing 5 continents will be looking to wrestle the cup from the grip of current holders Spain. In total, 706 players have been picked by their country – all with the dream of being victorious come the 13th of July.

As someone who deals with figures for a living I wanted to take a look at the numbers that have dominated the build-up so far before digging out my World Cup wall chart.

£8.4bn – The cost of hosting

The romance of having the competition’s most famous footballing nation stage the beautiful game’s most prestigious event takes place against a back drop of protests and uncompleted stadia. A staggering £8.4 billion has been spent developing stadia, transport and security. This has sparked numerous demonstrations as Brazilians took to the streets to criticise the costs which are largely borne by the taxpayer.

12 Stadia in 12 Cities – But are they ready?

As well as protestors, the Brazilian authorities have also had to contend with a battle against the clock to get their 12 stadia across 12 cities ready in time for the tournament. It was only 7 days ago that they were able to start stress testing arenas, even then only some sections were accessible to test.

3.7m tourists – Build it and they will come

It’s anticipated that 3.7 million tourists will descend upon the various cities across the 30 days of the World Cup with an additional 30 million ‘arm-chair fans’ tuning in at home to follow the trials and tribulations of their teams.

£6.8bn – Expected tourist spend

Although these tourists are expected to spend in the region of £6.8bn during the world cup, finding somewhere for them to stay could be tricky. Host city Cuiaba for example boasts a 43,000-capacity stadium but only has 13,000 hotel beds (that’s 3 tourists per bed which could get cosy!). Hotel costs have risen 4-fold ahead of the event as companies look to take advantage of the limited accommodation. This could mean that the anticipated uplift in tourism revenue may not fully materialise as the non-World Cup tourists could stay away from hosting cities due to these price hikes and the sheer inconvenience.

$4bn – TV and Marketing Revenue

A world cup itself generates approximately $4billion in revenue, most of which goes to footballs governing body FIFA. The $4 billion is largely made up of TV and Marketing rights. Television accounts for $1.7 billion while the sale of marketing rights brings in around $1.3 billion from corporate partners such as Adidas and Coca-Cola.

30 days, 22 men, 90 minutes

Although controversial, these numbers reinforce the sheer magnitude of the competition. Ultimately it comes down to 22 men kicking ball about for 90 minutes (plus potential extra-time and the dreaded penalties). So whether like some Brazilians you’re against the seemingly eye-watering spend, simply supporting your nation or like me just watching and wishing your team was there – the next 30 days promise to be unforgettable.

Join the conversation and follow us on twitter @StandardLifeUK and Facebook.

You can now subscribe to regular MoneyPlus blog updates too by simply entering your email address in the subscription bar at the top right-hand corner of the site.