United States Bid for 2026 World Cup
Every four years, 32 nations put forth their best soccer players to compete in the World Cup. The FIFA World Cup is one of, if not the biggest sporting event in the world. Hundreds of thousands of people come from all across the world in order to attend the high class games and to have the once in a lifetime experience in the World Cup atmosphere. With the bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups already decided for Russia and Qatar, the United States has proposed to team up with Canada and Mexico for a bid at hosting the 2026 event. If North America does in fact win the bid and end up hosting the World Cup, the country’s economies will be impacted greatly.
The positive externalities of hosting are plentiful. Although the costs of building the stadiums will be very high, the opportunities provided by them will bring in lots qualities that attribute to economic growth. Many jobs will be created through the construction, vendors, and maintenance of the stadiums. Along with job creation the revenue generated by stadiums will also be a huge plus to having to build stadiums. Ticket, memorabilia, and concessions sales will all contribute to that revenue and with the amount of fans attending the games, the stadiums will become profitable in a fairly short amount of time. These sources of income can also continue after the World Cup is over through lending the stadiums to local pro teams and hosting other entertainment events like concerts. According to FIFA host regulations, the countries hosting are required to build stadiums with capacities of 40-80 thousand people. With the capacities so high, more people are bound to attend games and spend money on the main sources of income. Taking the average ticket prices and multiplying it by the capacity of the stadium brings the total ticket sales for one single game to about 36 million. For the 2026 World Cup there will be 80 games and the total ticket sales peaks at a total of over 2 billion (Liu Economics). These numbers are just based on averages so the potential total income from ticket sales alone could be even higher. One of the biggest ways the World Cup can benefit the country’s economy is by stimulating and increasing the amount of customers seen by surrounding businesses. The event, like said before, brings in hundreds of thousands of people from across the world. Their presence in the country will only mean that there are more customers to serve. Hotels and restaurants are two types of businesses that will be affected the most by hosting. Everyone will be looking for a place to stay in the US and they will be looking for the best places to eat in the hosting cities. These businesses will in turn see dramatic increases in income, which will in turn also increase the profits they make. Even after all of the international visitors leave, people will still be going to the host cities to go to the entertainment events at the stadiums, so surrounding businesses will still experience higher rates of traffic than before the stadiums will be built.
Along with the positives, there will also be some major negative externalities for the hosts. In order to build the stadiums, local and national governing bodies will need money to pay all expenses off. This means that citizens of the areas around the stadiums will most likely find an increase in tax rates. Whether it be income tax, property tax, sales tax, or whatever other taxes that are most common in the area, they will all be increased in order to account for construction and maintenance. Disagreements over the taxing will become a problem, but it is necessary in order to make the World Cup a reality in North America. Also the high concentrations of international World Cup fans will make cities much more crowded and busy than before. Traffic will increase both on the roads and walkways resulting in increased times of travel. Citizens will again be affected as their daily routines will need to change in order to accommodate for the dramatic increase in traffic. Finally the cost to run the stadiums is very high. If the cities are to maintain and continue using the stadiums even after the World Cup has concluded, then tax rates and other expenses will remain higher than before. The government will need to cover the deficits caused by the construction and make sure that the stadiums are all paid off, another thing people will disagree on greatly.
Although there are some negative externalities caused by hosting the World Cup, the positives provided for the North American economy are far more in quantity and effectiveness. The increase in taxing and the high traffic that will be brought by the World Cup will be made up for by the jobs that will be created, the dramatic sales increase that will occur, the stimulation of surrounding businesses, and the overall attention that will now be brought to the nations. All in all, the World Cup will be a big positive to the economies of North America.
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