Bloomberg — Qatar forked out hundreds of billions of dollars to prepare the country for the 2022 World Cup — and early data suggest fans spent big too.
Fans spent 39% more in stadiums than they did at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, according to data from Visa, the official payment provider of the event. The data includes spending via Visa-branded cards—the only ones accepted in the venues.
Visitors from Saudi Arabia, the US, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico and the UK spent the most money, Visa said. The final between Argentina and France on Dec. 18 saw the largest spending of any game.
Tournament organizers in Qatar were hoping the World Cup would provide a $17 billion boost to the $220 billion economy and serve as a springboard for further development of sectors like tourism and entertainment.
However, Reuters reported that halfway through the event, the total number of international visitors wasn’t likely to meet projections of 1.2 million over the month-long tournament.
The competition has already proved a financial success for football’s governing body, FIFA, which said it made $7.5 billion in this four-year cycle. That’s $1 billion more than it expected.
Read more at Bloomberg.com