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A Trip Down Memory Lane: The Most Expensive Fifa World Cups Of All Time

Story Highlights
  • The USA spent €0.5 billion in 1994
  • France spent €2.4 billion in 1998
  • South Africa spent €3.7 billion in 2010
  • Korea and Japan spent €7.3 billion in 2002
  • Russia spent €12 billion in 2018
  • Brazil spent €15.6 billion in 2014
  • Qatar is currently recorded to have spent €229 billion for 2022

As one of the most prominent events in the world, the FIFA World Cup places enormous pressure and anticipation on the host country. The attention of the whole globe is focused on this athletic extravaganza. The quality of the World Cup tournaments has steadily improved over time. Each World Cup ushers forth new developments, whether technological advancement or the standard of play.

Let’s take a look back at the most costly World Cup tournaments.

The USA spent €0.5 billion in 1994

It’s estimated that the United States spent close to €500 million on the World Cup, a substantial sum for the decade of the 1990s. After considerable pre-tournament improvements, nine stadiums were chosen to host the World Cup. The United States will play host again in 2026, and it hopes this time will be the charm in creating a memorable event.

France spent €2.4 billion in 1998

After the United States established such a high standard in 1994, France was emphasized as the 1998 World Cup host. In addition, the number of participating countries doubled from 24 to 32 for the 1998 World Cup.  France spent €2.4 billion on infrastructure to host the massive event in 10 different locations. French supporters were instrumental in their team’s World Cup victory. 

South Africa spent €3.7 billion in 2010

Several brand-new stadiums were constructed, while others, including the legendary Soccer City, had extensive renovations for the tournament. In all, 10 locations in 9 different cities were chosen for the tournament, with the final in Johannesburg. Fans worldwide still recognize the World Cup song and feel the 2010 tournament’s African flavor.

Korea and Japan spent €7.3 billion in 2002

The 2002 World Cup was one of the most exciting and unexpected tournaments. Turkey and South Korea, two heavy tournament underdogs, surprised everyone by placing third and fourth, respectively.

It was held in Asia for the first time, and Korea and Japan performed well. During the World Cup, they spent an estimated €7.3 billion modernizing the country’s athletic infrastructure.

Russia spent €12 billion in 2018

Even though the World Cup had not yet begun, the event had already garnered considerable attention due to bomb threats from terrorist groups like ISIS.

This did not occur, as the World Cup ended without significant incidents. Russia spent as much as €12 billion on the World Cup. They brought turf from other nations and constructed several cutting-edge venues for the event.

Brazil spent €15.6 billion in 2014

Since the 2014 World Cup was the first to include technology, it is often regarded as a watershed event in the history of the World Cup. At this tournament, FIFA debuted both goal-line technology and anti-doping measures.

With a budget of $15.6 billion, Brazil went all out for the World Cup, upgrading many of the tournament’s most recognizable venues. Rio de Janeiro’s selection as the 2016 Olympic host city had a role in the decision to make this expenditure.

Qatar is currently recorded to have spent €229 billion for 2022

The 22nd World Cup has the most budget of any World Cup in history. The amount of money spent on preparations by Qatar is a record €229 billion.

New arenas, lodgings, and venues for practice have been built around the nation. Eight brand-new stadiums, built with the help of imported foreign technology, will host World Cup matches. The stark contrast between this World Cup and others shows how hard Qatar has worked to host it.

Hosting the World Cup is the pinnacle of national pride, as shown by the fact that countries are ready to spend billions more than their GDP on infrastructure to secure hosting rights.

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