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  • 2014 FIFA World Cup by the numbers

    Wallet Hub - 06/09/2014

    Q&A with Thomas Vicino and Wallet Hub

    Q: Sponsors seem to be placing big bets on there being record U.S. interest in the World Cup — will they be right?

    A: After Brazilians, Americans have purchased more tickets (over 150,000 tickets) to World Cup matches than any other country. We live in a more globalized society and interest in the game seems to be larger than in previous years.

    Q: What do you think the net effect of Brazil hosting the World Cup will be on the country?

    A: This is the $15 billion question. The Brazilian government has heavily invested in the World Cup. Brazil is in the midst of a social revolution as many residents have questioned and challenged the government’s economic development policies. Millions of Brazilians descended into the streets last year in June to protest political corruption, poor social welfare state, and lack of adequate public services. The public debate continues today, and we’re like to see many protests as the games are played.

    Q: Do you think the 2014 World Cup will leave 2016 Olympics organizers feeling reassured or even more nervous?

    A: The Olympics organizers have actually been worried for quite some time. Brazil is barely ready for the World Cup—infrastructure projects have been delayed or canceled, and stadiums are still construction zones. The airports have received a lot of investment, but they, too, are in midst of heavy renovations. The Olympics organizers will likely re-assess after the World Cup games about the readiness of the host city, Rio de Janeiro. This assessment will, in part, depend upon how smoothly the World Cup games go.

    A: Who do you think will win the World Cup?

    Q: There are many competitive teams this year, but Brazil’s is especially competitive. Brazil has won five times, and it would be exciting to see the team win on their own turf.

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