What is more shocking — Qatar being awarded the 2022 World Cup, or its $200 billion spending plan for the event?
Personally, I am still shocked by their successful bid over the United States, Australia, Japan and South Korea, but it completely surprised me to see Qatar’s lavish spending plans.
I understand Qatar is an oil-rich country, but honestly is it really feasible to spend $200 billion and get a solid return on your spending? Whether or not Qatar can make back the $200 billion is yet to be known, but let’s take a look at where all $200 billion will be spent from the AP:
The report, released on Tuesday, said $140 billion of that will be for transportation infrastructure including a new airport, roads and a metro system to deal with the 400,000 fans expected for the month-long tournament. Another $20 billion will go to tourism infrastructure as the Persian Gulf nation expects the number of tourists to reach 3.7 million annually by 2022.
I’m glad to see Qatar planning to build new transportation infrastructure so they can support the expected tourism influx. As mentioned above, the World Cup should draw around 400,000 fans throughout the month and if fans can’t easily travel around the country, then Qatar’s hosting opportunity would be an utter failure.
Qatar also plans to build six new stadiums while upgrading two existing stadiums. With summer temperatures consistently hitting 100-plus degrees, it is still yet to be announced how it will effectively cool the stadiums.
If you think $200 billion spending plan is not high for a sporting event, USA Today Sports college football writer Dan Wolken compares it to recent spending plans for the Olympics.
For comparisons sake, Russia budgeted $10B and is spending $50B on Winter Games. London games cost $40B. Qatar is spending $200B!
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) July 9, 2013
What are your thoughts on Qatar’s spending plan? Too much, too little, or just right?