Russia 2018: Most expensive World Cup ever?
Our World | On 09, Dec 2010
Will the 2018 World Cup be the most expensive ever? I’m not talking about the cost of buying the rights to host it, I’m talking about the fan’s experience. Russia may be a lot closer than South Africa, but is already one of the most expensive countries to visit.
So what will happen during the FIFA jamboree? We saw airlines, hotels, restaurants, tour operators, hospitality organisers and FIFA themselves all trying to cash in by hiking prices in South Africa only for it to backfire as country associations returned thousands of unsold tickets as fans refused to pay. We already know that St Petersburg and Moscow are very expensive compared with Cape Town, so make sure you have your client sitting down when you tell them what this one is going to cost.
Before that of course we have the London Olympics and also the 2014 World Cup in Rio. Are they any better? Not really. I have been phoned a few times now by companies offering “officially licensed” hospitality at Blue Riband athletics finals at £7500 per seat – for an afternoon. Buyers beware springs to mind, but more importantly is there any real value for the corporate market? I’ve seen most of the lows and the highs of British sport over the last 40 years, and as passionate as I am about football, even this true believer has to admit that the product as demonstrated in South Africa, and more recently against France and Montenegro at Wembley, is pretty poor with little sign of improvement. Personally I think there are 1001 things I could do to create more impact and deliver better value than spend £7k per head for a couple of days of football.