Russia's World Cup Costs Rise By Neymar-Sized Chunk, Nearing $12 Billion

Doing soccer in Russia is expensive. With the 2018 World Cup less than a year away, it just got even more expensive. The costs for next year’s World Cup rose by $600 million more than previously planned, Russian authorities disclosed on Tuesday

Now, $600 million may seem like a lot of money (it could buy Neymar, for instance), but in the grand scheme of this World Cup, it’s a drop in the bucket. With the added cost increase, the total costs have increased to $11.8 billion — yeah, billion with a ‘B.’

And while that may seem like a yacht-load of money, it’s probably a conservative estimate. Just take a look at Brazil’s costs for the 2014 World Cup. Brazil planned to spend around $1 billion to host the World Cup, but that number more than tripled to $3.5 billion for stadium construction and upgrades. However, the total cost of the World Cup skyrocketed to $15 billion. To make matters worse, FIFA, which made $2.6 billion in profit from the tournament, gave a mere $100 million back to Brazil. 


So while Russia is looking at an estimated cost of around $12 billion, don’t be surprised when that number jumps significantly. Russia may have to increase expenditure to make sure stadium construction and upgrades finish on time after a few stadium fires, though they don’t seem to be as far behind as Brazil was at this stage. 

Russia has gotten a little creative with its upgrades. The Ekaterinburg Arena didn’t have enough room for the mandated 35,000 seats until Russian ingenuity decided to build seats outside the stadium.

Well played, but I don’t envy whoever has to sit on the edge of those scaffolding-propped seats. 

The first phase of ticket sales for the World Cup has already passed by but there will be more. And unfortunately, in case you’ve been living under a Per Mertesacker-sized rock the last few weeks, the United States will not be attending

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