Hosting the World Cup in the United States


Soccer is one of the most popular games in the world. However, it seems that the case is different among American game lovers. The game is not as popular in this country. Analysts have explored the possibility of bringing the World Cup to the US. The current paper discussed the advantages and disadvantages of taking this game to a city in the US. A mixed-method approach was used to gather information. Data was analyzed to find out why football is not popular in America. The research provided information on the economic, environmental, and social impacts of hosting World Cup tournaments. Two interviews were carried out.

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The first was with an official from the Football Federation in the US. The interview sought to analyze why football is unpopular in America. The other interview was conducted with one of the organizers of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Both interviews took approximately 30 minutes. Statistical analysis of the costs of hosting the World Cup was also provided. It was aimed at finding out the number of money countries spend on hosting the tournament, as well as the contribution made by FIFA. The findings of the interviews were analyzed and reported in this paper. Analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of hosting the tournament is also shown. The research undertaking provided information on the viability of bringing the World Cup to the US.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Hosting the World Cup: A Case Study of the United States

World Cup is one of the events that inspire many people in the global sports arena. Countries that host the tournament must invest fully in infrastructures like stadiums and roads. The reason is that the game attracts many people from different parts of the world. Many countries have expressed their interest in hosting the World Cup. Some of those that have recently held tournaments include South Africa and Brazil. However, it is astonishing to note that the US, one of the superpowers in the world, is not keen on hosting the tournament (Baade & Matheson, 2004). Consequently, it is evident that soccer is not a popular game in the country.

In this paper, the author will look into different factors associated with hosting the tournament. To this end, the advantages and disadvantages of the event in the context of the US will be analyzed. The social, economic, and environmental impacts of the game will be discussed. In addition, the main reason why soccer is not popular in the US will be reviewed. Data will be collected using interviews and review of the literature.

Research Methodologies: Analysis

Different methodologies are used to carry out research. Qualitative approach is one of them. With regard to the advantages and disadvantages associated with hosting the World Cup, the method may involve using direct observation to analyze the aspects of the population to be studied (Christopherson, Janning & McConnell, 2002). Quantitative research is another method used in studies. It involves the collection of numerical data. The information is analyzed using mathematical and statistical methods, such as standard deviation. To collect information on the impacts of the World Cup in the US, quantitative research methods may be used. They will provide information pertaining to the costs and returns associated with the venture (Creswell, 2013). A mixed-method uses both qualitative and quantitative methods to study and understand a research problem (Creswell, 2013).

The Research Method Used in this Project

The researcher used a mixed study approach to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of bringing the World Cup to a city in the US. Interviews with sporting authorities in the US were carried out. Analyzing data from countries that have hosted the World Cup in the past provided information on the amount of money used and the financial benefits expected from the tournament. The analysis was carried out through a review of the literature. Interviews and literature reviews are quantitative and qualitative research methods respectively. Consequently, the current study adopted a mixed research approach. Interview with officials from the Brazilian football organization will highlight the impacts of the tournament on the people living in the host nation. Analysis of numerical data from these countries is similar to a performance test. It is aimed at showing whether the tournament is an advantage or a disadvantage. Performance tests are part of quantitative methods.

Data Collection

The researcher organized an interview with an official from the Football Federation in the US. The interview was aimed at finding out why US is not interested in matters relating to soccer as is the case in many other countries around the world. It was also aimed at finding out why football is not a popular sport in the country. Review of literature is another method that will help in finding out how much it costs to prepare stadiums and upgrade infrastructure in preparation for the tournament (Cornelissen & Swart, 2006). It will also include money used during the tournament to fund the sport and pay officials.

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The data collected was also aimed at finding out whether it is FIFA or the host nation who fund the game. Apart from money, the World Cup has other social, environmental, and economic impacts on the host nation. The interview with one of the committee members who organized the 2014 tournament will provide more information on these impacts. The interview with the official from the US Football Federation was conducted on a face-to-face basis as it was possible to contact him (Baade & Matheson, 2004). However, the interview with the official from Brazil was carried out online. Both interviews took approximately 30 minutes.

A Critical Analysis of the Impacts of Hosting the World Cup in the US: Findings and Discussions

From the information gathered using literature review and interviews, the researcher was able to identify some of the reasons why soccer is not a popular game in the US. From the interview with the American official, it was revealed that FIFA is the one that ‘killed’ the American Soccer League. At the time when the league existed, wealthy Americans used to pay a lot of money to the best football players. FIFA officials were concerned that the US, through the American Soccer League, may undermine its role of controlling football in the world. As a result, the organization introduced the Major Soccer League (MSL).

The introduction took place after the US hosted the 1994 World Cup Tournaments. Most of the people who owned soccer clubs in the country were not happy to be told what to do. They were especially unhappy with the directives given by the MSL, which was controlled by FIFA (Christopherson et al., 2002). The World Football Federation ignored the America Soccer League. The situation led to the unpopularity of the game in the country. According to the official, other games in America became popular because they received support from different federations. An example is basketball. In light of this, hosting the tournament in the US will be advantageous as it will address these issues.

From the interview, it was also found out that lack of youth development programs led to the collapse of the game in the country. Some of the games that were supported by coaches included the American football and basketball, which are popular in the country. In Europe and other continents where soccer is popular, the talents of the young people are recognized, which is not the case in America. Poor management of the game led to inadequate development of other professional soccer leagues in the nation. It was also clear from the interview that many people in America are not soccer fans. Most of them do not watch quality football games. Consequently, the popularity of the game has declined (Cornelissen & Swart, 2006). The pay of soccer players is also poor. It cannot be compared with what players of other games in America receive. For example, basketball players like Kobe Bryant and Clint Dempsey are some of the highest earners in the sports industry.

The interview with the Brazilian football official provided data concerning the impacts of the game in the country. According to the interviewee, the country benefited from the new facilities developed to support the game. The tournament involves many teams that have to compete during the time allocated. Facilities like stadiums not only used during the game, but also after the tournament (Waters & Jimenez, 2005). Such facilities help in promoting the sport in the nation. The US can enjoy these benefits if it hosts the game.

Another advantage is that new and high quality football programs are developed in preparation for the World Cup. The programs are used to identify and promote young talent. Another advantage of hosting the game is the breaking of social barriers. During the tournament, interactions between people from different parts of the world are evidenced (Collins, Jones & Munday, 2009). Breaking the social barriers may promote businesses after the tournament. The game also motivates young players in the host nation. Participating in the tournament is a challenge to them. It turns them into professional footballers (Collins et al., 2009).

Change in infrastructure is another advantage. From the interview, it was revealed that there were a lot of improvements in infrastructure in Brazil during the 2014 tournament. Many roads were expanded. Railway stations and airports were also upgraded to handle the large number of people visiting the nation.

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Since the tournament in Brazil was the most recent to be held, the researcher also enquired about the social, environmental, and economic impacts of the game. It was revealed that the game enhanced economic development in the country. Many tourists visited the nation that year, increased foreign earning (Lee & Taylor, 2005). Many businesses also received a boost. A good example is businesses in the hotel and tourism industry. Most of the people who visited the country during the tournament not only came to watch the game, but also visit historical places in Brazil. Businesses related to food and accommodation improved during that period (Kim & Petrick, 2005).

From the interview, it was found out that accommodation was a problem. Some families had to rent out their homes to the fans for a fee. The transport sector also benefited from the tournament as many people were moving from one stadium to another in Brazil. In general, the state of the economy in the country improved as a result of the tournament.

Hosting the World Cup has various impacts on the environment of the host nation. For example, there are improvements on infrastructure, including roads and social amenities. The streets, parks, rivers, and such other places are cleaned in preparation for the games. However, during and after the tournament, the environment receives a beating. For example, fans may destroy some of the social amenities provided. The environment is littered.

The municipal council of the American city hosting the games will incur costs cleaning the mess left behind (Waters & Jimenez, 2005). Social impacts of the game are brought about by interactions between people from different cultures. The engagements impacted on businesses. Some led to intermarriages. Exchange of culture is also witnessed during the tournament. A critical analysis of the situation reveals that American authorities can control the negative impacts in order to exploit the benefits.

Information gathered with regards to the costs indicates that FIFA and the host nation jointly fund the tournament. For example, the Brazilian government spent almost 14 million dollars on the games. The money was used to, among others, expand infrastructure. It is one of the largest budgets in the history of the World Cup tournaments. Germany was the second spender in 2006. The government used approximately 6 billion US dollars. FIFA contributed about 2 billion dollars to fund the tournament (Collins et al., 2009). The organization also paid 208 million dollars for agreeing to participate in the tournament. Other costs associated with the games were met by the government of Brazil. The winning team in the tournament was paid 35 million dollars by the federation. American authorities should be aware of these expenses in their quest to host the games.

Another major disadvantage associated with the World Cup includes increased crime. For example, during the 2014 games, many cases of theft and other felonies were reported to Brazilian authorities. Criminals are aware that fans attending the game have money. As a result, they try to rob them (Kim, Gursoy & Lee, 2006). Governments are forced to invest a lot in security. Hooliganism is another negative impact of the games. Property worth millions of dollars may be destroyed. In some cases, people are killed during riots.


Hosting the World Cup needs a lot of preparations, which involve financial investments. It is evident that hosting the game is an expensive affair. Some countries may not meet these costs. If the US wants to host the tournament in the future, the country has to be fully prepared. However, it will be very hard for the country to bid for the position if the popularity of the game among Americans remains low. Consequently, the government should begin by raising the spirit of soccer in the nation before bidding to host the tournament. The country stands to gain from the economic, social, and environmental benefits associated with hosting the games. It is important to analyze the insecurity issues and prepare in advance to reduce rates of crime during the tournament. The information gathered in this research project highlighted what it takes to host the World Cup and what the US government should do to improve the status of football in the country.


Baade, R., & Matheson, V. (2004). The quest for the cup: Assessing the economic impacts of the World Cup. Regional Studies, 38(4), 343-354. Web.

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Christopherson, N., Janning, M., & McConnell, E. (2002). Two kicks forward, one kick back: A content analysis of media discourses on the 1999 Women’s World Cup Soccer Championship. Sociology of Sport Journal, 19(2), 170-188. Web.

Collins, A., Jones, C., & Munday, M. (2009). Assessing the environmental impacts of mega sporting events: Two options?. Tourism Management, 30(6), 828-837. Web.

Cornelissen, S., & Swart, K. (2006). The 2010 Football World Cup as a political construct: The challenge of making good on an African promise. The Sociological Review, 54(2), 108-123. Web.

Creswell, J. (2013). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (4th ed.). New York: SAGE Publications, Inc. Web.

Kim, H., Gursoy, D., & Lee, S. (2006). The impacts of the 2002 World Cup on South Korea: Comparisons of pre-and post-games. Tourism Management, 27(1), 86-96. Web.

Kim, S., & Petrick, J. (2005). Residents’ perceptions on impacts of the FIFA 2002 World Cup: The case of Seoul as a host city. Tourism Management, 26(1), 25-38. Web.

Lee, C., & Taylor, T. (2005). Critical reflections on the economic impact assessment of a mega-event: The case of 2002 FIFA World Cup. Tourism Management, 26(4), 595-603. Web.

Waters, M., & Jimenez, T. (2005). Assessing immigrant assimilation: New empirical and theoretical challenges. Annual Reviews of Sociology, 31, 105-125. Web.

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