Russia’s win to host the World Cup meant both a political victory for President Vladimir Putin, as well as a challenge. It meant that his government was able to put together a plan which would reach and perhaps supersede the expectations of FIFA, for a Host Nation; as well as set up a path for his government to show the world that Russia was able to achieve complete success, with an event of such magnitude.
By Jorge Reano
The 2018 FIFA World Cup was awarded to Russia, back in December of 2010 via a vote of all the affiliated member nations.
Russia’s win to host the World Cup meant both a political victory for President Vladimir Putin, as well as a challenge.
It meant that his government was able to put together a plan which would reach and perhaps supersede the expectations of FIFA, for a Host Nation; as well as set up a path for his government to show the world that Russia was able to achieve complete success, with an event of such magnitude.
- It meant that Russia would have to have 12 Stadiums ready by either completely renovating standing ones and/or building new ones.
- It meant that Russia would have to re-design its transportation infrastructure to accommodate the millions of traveling fans who would come to the country, which factually meant that Russia did renovate and built anew 26 infrastructure facilities including 11 Airports, 3 new Metro Stations and 12 new High-ways and road Junctions.
- It meant that 31 New Railway Stations had to be developed in the 11 Host Cities.
- It meant that Russia also had to reconstruct 13 Hospitals, and develop 12 new Power Stations and 27 New Hotels.
- It meant that Russia had to develop 108 sports facilities and 96 new training sites.
It also meant that Russia would have to invest over 500 Billion Rubles to accomplish all this in a timely manner. The final tab is closer to 600 Billion Rubles ($9.5 Billion US).
Was it a good investment?
Time will definitely tell if it was; however, what is already palpable is the fact that over 200,000 jobs were created directly from the FIFA World Cup, in Russia.
And, there is already a 71% increase in the volume of Tourist Services in the Host cities added to the 57% increase of “domestic tourism” in those Host cities.
International tourism should also reach a heightened boom in the following month during the World Cup, and the months after.
Russian President, Vladimir Putin, presenting the FIFA World Cup trophy.
Experts believe that the final tally of direct earnings for Russia’s GDP after the World Cup will be around the $27-$31 Billion US mark.
However, even if this figure is not reached, there will be a very strong measure of success for the Russian Government. They will be able to portray Russia in a different light, to the rest of the world. Perhaps, that will be the biggest measure.
Russia will appear as a strong, goal oriented and delivery capable economy which can diversify and “conquer” different industries. It will open itself to new International Markets and show a willingness to work with others, especially, as the USA is actually trying to get involved in trade and tariff wars. Russia will try to jump together with China and fill in a void left open by the United States’ current administration.
Countries will be more willing to take a look at trading with Russia if the World Cup is a success.
By the looks of it, and what Vladimir Putin has decided to invest in this, it seems the above may become a reality with a positive outlook for the future.
After all, just about 4 Billion people around the world will be watching intently.