Fans at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar are on pace to spend record amounts at tournament venues, according to data from Visa, the event’s official payment partner.
With 10 days to go until the end of the World Cup, fans have already spent more money than they did when Brazil hosted in 2014, and 89% of the value they spent at Russia in 2018. Visa’s data includes spending on its cards at all official World Cup venues from the start of tournament through Dec. 2.
The figure is high despite a last-minute ban on alcoholic beer sales at stadiums, and in the face of growing pocketbook pressures on consumers around the world. Close to half of the spending was on merchandise, while payments for food and beverages made up 36%.
Fans who were present to watch Saudi Arabia take on Mexico on November 30 spent the most overall.
FIFA expects its revenue from the four-year cycle culminating in the World Cup to exceed the $5.4 billion it made in Russia in 2018. Qatari organizers have said they hope the event will provide a $17 billion boost to the local economy.
–With assistance from Archana Narayanan.