Brazil, the World Cup & the Olympics

Sep 07

Brazil will host two global events in the next few years. The first is the FIFA World Cup in 2014. The second is the summer Olympics in 2016. Geographically and economically, Brazil is the most impactful country in South America. In terms of population, currently over 200 million, and land area of 8.5 million square kilometers, it ranks number 5 globally. Economically, Brazil is a participant in the G20, with a GDP placing it eighth in the world overall. There are a few reasons it makes sense for Brazil to host these events.

Brazil’s well developed agricultural, mining, manufacturing and service sectors, combined with a thoughtful approach to national debt and macroeconomic stability, make it an attractive location for both events. Both events will draw crowds in the millions, which will require and investment in infrastructure to accommodate and secure the venues used for these events. Football (American Soccer) is a national pastime, which means that most major cities already have very large stadiums to host World Cup.

FIFA World Cup

The FIFA World Cup, often referred to as simply World Cup, is a competition of men’s football teams from around the world. It is organized by Fédération Internationale de Football Association, the sport’s governing body. The competition last for about a month and involves 32 teams. All games take place in stadiums located in the host country. Since its founding in 1904 there have been 19 tournaments. The 2014 event in Brazil will be the 20th international tournament.

Of the 19 tournaments held to date, Brazil has won five times. The 2014 World Cup will also represent the second time Brazil has hosted the event, the previous time was in 1950, following World War II.

2016 Summer Olympics

The Summer Olympics, first held in 1896, have occurred every four years, except in times of war. From a starting point of 42 official events and under 300 male athletes, the games have grown to include 300 events and over 10,000 athletes from all over the world.

The 2016 Summer Olympics will be the 31st time the games have been held. The City of Rio de Janeiro was selected to host this summer games. Brazil is using their preparation for the games to showcase their country and their engineering skill. Much of the power that is generated will come from renewable sources, such as hydroelectric dams. Three million trees will be planted in the rain forest regions. All of these efforts will produce a carbon neutral (CO2) games.

Investment and Outcomes

In recent decades, the cost to host an Olympic Games has skyrocketed. The justification for the sizable investment centers on the increased revenue from tourism and visitors that come to observe the Olympic Games. However, more and more host cities are finding that they no longer break even. Some have argued that heightened global visibility increases opportunity for exports and other types of foreign trade, which will offset the cost of hosting the games, but it is much more difficult to measure and quantify.

Whatever the economic outcome, there is a great deal of competition to be the host city and country. There is prestige and patriotism which further motivate the decision to compete to be a host city. In 2016, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil will have the honor of hosting the Olympic Games, after just two years earlier having hosted the World Cup in 2014.

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