13 August 2011

Planning Ahead

Since we now have the 2014 World Cup qualifying groups to ponder, we can begin to project what the tournament will look like. The only thing we know for sure is that Brazil and the USA will qualify. The former because they are hosting, the latter because they have to beat Jamaica, Haiti and Guatemala – and because World Cup tourism would fall by 20% if the Yanks don’t come. The USA sent the largest contingent of fans to South Africa and will likely send even more to Brazil in 2014.  

At South Africa 2010, 6 of the 8 groups played their 6 games in 6 cities. Two of the groups (B and G, with Argentina and Brazil, respectively) played in 5 cities. (For those who don’t know, the WC is divided into 8 groups of 4 teams each, with the top two progressing to the next round). Let’s suppose that FIFA is going to repeat this scenario in Brazil. By using the USA’s group from 2010 as an example (USA, England, Algeria Slovenia), let’s look at what could happen in 2014.



date
City
***Hotel/day
USA
England
14.6.14
Manaus
US$90
Algeria
Slovenia
14.6.14
Cuiabá
US$100
USA
Slovenia
19.6.14
Fortaleza
US$85
England
Algeria
20.6.14
Salvador
US$75
Algeria
USA
24.6.14
Brasilia
US$140
Slovenia
England
24.6.14
Natal
US$65

Let’s suppose that your average Yank wants to get to Manaus a couple of days early to do some poking about the Amazon and also wants to catch a weekend in Rio de Janeiro at the end of the trip. The flight from the USA to Manaus for September 2010 (cheaper than the high season of the 2014 World Cup) is around US$1000. The in-country flights, MAO-FOR-BSB-GIG-MAO, run US$815 on TAM (allowing for a few days in each place for games and tourism). We can figure tickets will be around US$150-200 each, although for Algeria-Slovenia in Cuiabá they’ll be giving them away. Add hotel prices (US$100/day) and a US$100 allowance for food, drink, taxi, diversions.

International Flight
US$1000
Domestic Flights
US$815
Hotel (12 days)
US$1200
Food/Drink (12 days)
US$1200
Tickets (3 games)
US$600
Misc.
US$400
total
US$5200

The result is that for a two week trip, at 2010 off-season prices, the average fan will spend around US$5200. For two people, this cost will not quite be doubled and with research and planning many of these costs can be dropped. However, with the current inflation rate and the increasing demand for seats on planes (imagine 20,000 people trying to get on these planes and into the hotels) and the inevitable confusion that is going to define the World Cup, the financial and psychological costs are certain to increase. Start saving your shekels!

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