The Costs of Brazil vs Germany: Protest and Poverty at Brazil’s World Cup

Brazil gained prestige in landing the World Cup and Olympics, but sometimes hosting a major global event isn’t as glamorous as it seems. For a start, it’s difficult to justify massive spending — Brazil plans to spend $31 billion between the two — for such a temporary payoff. . Many venues created for these events, including those erected for the Olympic Games in Athens and Beijing, have fallen into disrepair after the celebrations ended. Many workers die on these massive construction projects — hundreds, already, for Qatar’s 2022 World Cup. Government often evicts lots of people from their homes, as Beijing did to over 1.5 million people in anticipation of the 2008 Summer Olympics. So why are cities and countries so eager to host? Often for the international prestige. However, support can sour quickly, as it has in Brazil, when the real costs became more apparent. Economist Matt Ryan from Duquesne University asks you to consider those costs now – a country that wins the bid may lose big overall.


  1. chelsie.mora

    I suppose an alternative is to have the World cup & Olympic games in the same place each time. Or rotate among a few places, one on each continent.

  2. Grady Flanagan

    The only place that can handle these things is the US. We already have thousands of sports venues that seat thousands. We wouldn’t need to build more.

  3. David Cohen

    Look behind the curtain of the Olympics and World Cup and it’s just politics and greed.  What’s happening to the immigrant workers in Qatar is nothing short of slave labor and needs to stop. 

  4. taschrant

    We do have a ton of stadiums.  I wonder if the U.S. would be like “Oh?  We’re getting the Olympics?  Hmm.  Guess none of the NFL teams stadiums would work.  What about the one from the Olympics in 1996 in Georgia?  Well, that’s outdated now…  Better build a new one!”

    Maybe I’m just being pessimistic…
  5. Andremaia

    This is another great example of how governments cannot spend money adequately. If FIFA relied on for profit organizations, they would have the intentions of making a profit over the long run and there would not be a large amount of terrible investments. Let the markets be free.

  6. bosthegreat

    The NFL is just as bad. For some reason the NFL seems to think taxpayers should pay for new stadiums rather than team owners.

  7. Andrew Gorelick

    Unfortunately sports in general have become a cesspool of corruption and crony-capitalism.  

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