From Russia with Love: The economics of the 2018 World Cup


$31 billion dollars (US) that’s what Russia hopes the Football World Cup will bring home in terms of economic impact.  This is equivalent to $41 billion Australian dollars. The report on the economic impact of the tournament said the boost for the country’s GDP could amount to between 1.62 trillion roubles ($26 billion) and 1.92 trillion roubles ($30.8 billion) over the 10 years from 2013 through to 2023.

That’s due to a combination of the boost to tourism plus large-scale expenditure on construction, plus later knock-on multiplier effects from those government investments. The report also suggested the World Cup would make Russians healthier, encourage them to exercise more and take fewer sick days. Although the report was obviously not sponsored by a Vodka company.

According to Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Arkady Dvorkovich, The World Cup “has a considerable economic effect,” as:  “The tournament has already boosted the economic development of the host regions and will continue to have a positive long-term economic impact,” with around 220,000 jobs have been created.

The Economics of Major Events is of course hotly disputed. For instance, some critics of Brazil’s hosting of the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and Rio Olympics in 2016 claimed too much spending on wasteful infrastructure in regions that now don’t use it. Brazil also was undergoing a crisis in corruption at the highest levels of Government which coupled with FIFA’S Corporate Governance issues caused a perfect storm.

Russia too has its critics – also corruption-related – and especially coming soon after the hosting of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, which became due to the $50 billion spent according to one government estimate the costliest Winter Games in history. 

This was first published in the Herald Sun.