Brazil spent about $15 billion on the 2014 World Cup. If you think that is a lot wait till you hear what Russia is going to spend on the 2018 World Cup.
On the eve of spending a record setting $51 billion on the 2014 Winter Olympics–and giving his country an incredible economic headache in the process–Vladimir Putin is ready to do it again.
Russia will be hosting the 2018 World Cup and has plans to spend $20 billion on preparing for it. Putin plans to build stadiums and the need to build up a sufficient infrastructure over an area about 1500 miles long it would not be shocking if that price tag were to grow.
With 15 million people living below the poverty line in Russia there are many that think the country could make better use of its money. If that wasn’t enough to give Putin pause, the waste that was created and still exist from the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
“They’ve got a lot of white elephants on their hands in Sochi that they don’t know what to do with,” Professor Andrew Zimbalist, a sports economist at Smith College said. “All the hotel firms there are currently trying to get the state to buy them out. It’s not the right climate, and wealthy Russians would rather go to Davos [in Switzerland] or somewhere else in the Alps.”
If there is anything that makes it easier for governments to justify such spending it is the prestige that goes with hosting an event of global importance that only happens once every four years.
“There is undoubtedly a spike in the feel-good factor during these events and the World Cup is the jackpot,” Stefan Szymanski, a professor of sports management at the University of Michigan said. “Although it is quite ephemeral and does not last long, Russians will be delighted to have the tournament.”
Should all go well Putin’s reelection in 2018 should go off without a hitch.[NBCNews]