A World Cup in the United States
Written by: Theo Johnson
Soccer is the most popular sport in the world, both in terms of fans and revenue. In fact, it is the most popular sport in 226 out of 261 countries. The biggest soccer event, the World Cup, is 10 times more popular than the Olympics. (Bleacher Report) However, soccer has failed to make the impact it has worldwide in the United States where it ranks as only the 7th most popular sport. (TheRichest). While soccer’s popularity has been growing slowly since the 1994 World Cup that was hosted in the States, America is by far the largest potential market in the soccer industry. The United States would be a perfect fit for a World Cup.
The 1994 World Cup had a major effect on America, both in soccer’s popularity and from an economic standpoint. The World Cup was hosted in 9 different across the US. The average economic profit for each of these cities was 623 million dollars (Nodell). The United States was able to produce the largest economic profit from a World Cup because, unlike most other hosts, new stadiums were not needed and games were played in existing football stadiums. This allowed for the United States to host the World Cup with fewer fixed costs. The month-long event brought millions in profit to several different industries such as hotels, restaurants, and soccer itself. Since the United States is the most populous country the tournament has ever been held in, it produced record crowds, bring in more profit to FIFA. (InfoPlease) Since the United States creates the most profit for more FIFA and itself, it should be a frontrunner in hosting another World Cup.
The 2022 World Cup may soon be looking for a host as the current host, Qatar, is under fire for colluding FIFA to allow it to host. In that case, in makes sense for the States to host in terms of both the short and long run. In the short run, the low fixed costs will allow the event to bring in more profit for FIFA and the country. The World Cup would surely increase the soccer fan base in the United States. This increase in market size would increase the demand for all things soccer related such as getting soccer games on TV or soccer jerseys. The increase in demand would increase the price and therefore the producer surplus in the long run for FIFA as they have control over all international soccer.
The reason for Brazil’s failure in hosting the 2014 World Cup was larger in part to the costs of stadiums. In the US, that wouldn’t be a problem.
If a World Cup were to be hosted by the United States, it would benefit the country, FIFA, and soccer as a sport. Therefore, I believe that if the 2022 World Cup were to need a new host, America would be a perfect fit.
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"Most Populous Countries." Infoplease. Infoplease, n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2016.
"1994 FIFA World Cup." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2016.
"Ranking The Most Popular Sports in America." TheRichest. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2016.