October 18, 2010

FIFA versus South Africa: a total victory: FIFA: US$3.5 billion in profit: "the most profitable in FIFA history." South Africa: $2.9 billion net loss. The meat of the article is in a 14 page PDF. An another data point against building for sports.

posted by kokaku to soccer at 02:58 PM - 6 comments

Holy shit! Not read the article as my internet is cocking about. Is this NORMAL for a World Cup does anyone know? Because if so you have to wonder why the hell any country would willingly bid on hosting it!

Those figures are just shocking. (Actually the FIFA profit isn't shocking at all. Most corrupt governing body in all of sports.)

posted by Drood at 07:38 PM on October 18

It's not too surprising if you consider that FIFA doesn't distribute the profits back to the host country in any way that'd cover the costs of building stadiums and infrastructure to support said profits. The real question is what the hell does FIFA do with all that profit if everyone else is shelling out the bucks?

Also, this reminds me of numbers I once saw for how much the NCAA makes on March Madness. No way all that money is getting back to the schools and programs.

posted by kokaku at 07:46 PM on October 18

Privatise the profits (FIFA), and socialise the losses (South African taxpayers).

How can you lose with a business model like that?

posted by owlhouse at 09:12 PM on October 18

Privatise the profits (FIFA), and socialise the losses (South African taxpayers).

How can you lose with a business model like that?

The NFL owners certainly agrees.

A couple things: first off, I find the continuous use of the word "stadia" neat.

Two, like the IOC and the Olympics, FIFA appears to insist that the importance of the World Cup demands top-line facilities from host countries, resulting in exhorbitant costs that they can never hope to recover, without FIFA displaying the slightest whim on that factor, but enjoying the profits.

When will this stop? When some country/city has the balls to say to the IOC/FIFA, no thanks, we prefer not to go into debt for the foreseeable future (provided they aren't already). So, not anytime soon.

I guess at least South Africa could argue that the restoration of national prestige from the apartheid era made it worth it, but I'm not sure how many people would agree with that idea.

posted by Bonkers at 03:39 AM on October 19

Yes it is fairly common that the host country loses a ton of money on the FIFA and Olympics. The only country in the last 30 or so years to host the FIFA tournament and make money at it was the United States in 1994, but that's mainly because we have a large number of very large football stadiums that site dormant over the summer so we didn't need to go on a building spree (which is where almost all the costs are).

Any yes it should be stadiums, stadia should only be used when referring to multiple Roman horse tracks, but those who speak something other than English as a first language get it wrong because the plural for modern stadiums in other Romance Languages is stadia because they're closer to the original Latin than the Germanic English.

posted by jmauro2000 at 10:03 AM on October 19

I slightly disagree here. If the country has the population/sporting culture to use (most of) the stadiums after the tournament then its reasonable even if they need to build a bunch, as is the case in Brazil for the next World Cup. If the net effect to a country is as negative as was for South Africa then FIFA should not be awarding them a tournament, except that I think politically Africa had to get a tournament and no other country was even as close as SA to being capable of hosting.

I would however agree that FIFA should subsidize some of the cost for weaker economy host nations such as SA or Brazil for 2014. I think recent host countries with strong economies like Germany, France, South Korea and Japan don't need the money.

posted by billsaysthis at 02:34 PM on October 19

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