‘Were the Billions Brazil Spent on World Cup Stadiums Worth It?’

FiveThirtyEight Economics

July 10th, 2014 by 

In an opinion piece for FiveThirtyEight, Victor Matheson, professor of economics at the College of the Holy Cross, discusses the lasting economic effects of World Cup stadiums. “The overwhelming conclusion of scholarly research on the subject of stadiums and arenas is that they provide little to no long-term economic benefits,” says Matheson. While Brazil originally planned to spend a small amount of their budget on stadiums, the rest going towards infrastructure, “cost overruns at the sports venues increased stadium costs by at least 75 percent over the original estimates.” As a result, less resources and efforts were focused on infrastructure, leaving only half of Brazil’s pledged projects complete.

“At the very least, the country is left with 12 new state-of-the-art soccer stadiums,” offers Matheson. “From a development standpoint, the only thing worse than an expensive, publicly financed stadium is an empty, expensive, publicly financed stadium. So what’s the prognosis for these stadiums’ future use?” Matheson looks at the experience of past World Cup host countries and their stadiums’ usage since 1994, offering statistics of each stadium as well as two generated statistics calculating the stadium use index—“the total number of times during the year the stadium filled to capacity”— and the fan cost index—“the construction cost per fan visiting the stadium four years after the initial event.”

Read the entire article on the FiveThirtyEight website.

This is a “Holy Cross in the News” item by Evangelia Stefanakos.

For additional information, please contact Cristal Steuer at 508-793-2419.

| More

Comments are closed.

Sort By:
11/25/15 Two-Time Super Bowl Champion Bill Curry to Join Best-Selling Author Steve Almond for Working Writers Series
11/25/15 Holy Cross Hosts Annual Tree Lighting and the Time-Honored Tradition of the Advent Festival of Lessons and Carols
11/25/15 ‘The Curse of Black Friday’
11/24/15 Holy Cross Community Celebrates Retirement of Beloved Employee
See All
See All

Featured Videos

See video
Video: The Splendor of Autumn on Mount St. James

Watch Video >
See video
Photo Gallery, Video: Campus Conversations and Discussion Connect Students with Distinguished Alumni

Watch Video >
See video
Video: Holy Cross Faculty Offer Multidisciplinary Analysis of Pope’s Encyclical on Environment

Watch Video >

What’s Happening on Campus


Men's Ice Hockey vs. Niagara University

See More >

Men's Ice Hockey vs. Niagara University

See More >

Men's Basketball vs. Harvard University

See More >

Katrina Then and Now: Artists as Witness

See More >

Holy Cross in the News


Holy Cross Accounting Program Ranks No. 3 in Massachusetts

Accounting Degree Review

The College of the Holy Cross’ accounting program ranks No. 3 in Accounting Degree Review’s “Top 10 Undergraduate Accounting Programs in Massachusetts.” According to...


‘Women in Business conference: Holy Cross alumna at Vanity Fair says degree is key to success’

Telegram & Gazette

“Earning a liberal arts degree is the smartest thing a person can do to become successful in the business world,” said Aimee Bell ’88 to the Worcester Telegram...


Economist Magazine Places Holy Cross in Top 3 Percent of ‘Best Value’ Ranking

The Economist

The College of the Holy Cross is No. 36 among 1300 public and private institutions reviewed by the Economist in its first-ever best value rankings, putting the College in the...