Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Five Things Russia and Qatar Did Right to Win World Cup Bids

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Five Things Russia and Qatar Did Right to Win World Cup Bids

Article excerpt

Russia and Qatar were able to set themselves apart enough from the rest of the World Cup bidders to get FIFA's vote Thursday. Russia will host the tournament in 2018 and Qatar in 2022. Here are five things they did right:

Russia and Qatar were able to set themselves apart enough from the rest of the World Cup bidders to get FIFA's vote Thursday. Russia will host the tournament in 2018 and Qatar in 2022. Here are five things they did right:

#5 Infrastructure

In order to host one of the largest tournaments in the world, countries need the ability to host 32 countries' teams, and their fans. They need to be able to move those fans between between about a dozen host cities, a suitable number of hotels - of price ranges high and low - and stadiums that can host between 40,000 and 80,000 fans per match.

An investment in new stadiums (13, to be exact) and improvements to existing stadiums worth more than $3.8 billion satisfied FIFA of Russia's commitment to hosting the 2018 World Cup. Russia's transit system will be undergoing an overhaul in preparation for the 2014 Winter Olympic games in the resort town of Sochi. That helped, too.

As for Qatar, the tiny Gulf Arab state became the first Middle Eastern country ever to win the right to host the Cup by planning to build nine new stadiums (totaling more than a $2.8 billion investment) and spend $60 billion investment in roads, rail, and a new international airport over the next 12 years.

#4 Make FIFA money

Feel-good stories aside, FIFA, like everyone else, needs money. The biggest and most efficient way for them to do so is through television broadcasts of the matches.

Qatar, right between Europe and Asia, also appealed to FIFA's need for television ratings, making the case that its time zone puts it in striking range of about 3 billion viewers.

The cities hosting Russia's World Cup are primarily in the Western part of the country, making them longitudinally similar to Qatar, and allowing the rest of Europe to watch matches at a reasonable hour, as well as Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

#3 Get touchy feely

There's no shortage of sentiment about what a sporting event like the World Cup can do for people, both regionally and globally. …

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