Sustainability and major sport events

Qatar spent nearly 15times more than Russia in hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup, was it worth it? Are big sporting events really sustainable in the long run? Was London Olympics of 2012 the real success story? All this and more discussed on this episode where I’m joined by  Jitesh Brahmkshatriya, Senior Director at CBRE.

In fact, Qatar is expected to have spent close to $220bn for this world cup over a period of 12 years since it won the bid. Qatar was spending about 10% of the their GDP every year building the infrastructure during this time. Now talking of returns, the expected returns during the period of the tournament is about 10%, about $20bn. But the bigger financial returns could come in later years or that is what is generally claimed at the launch of every major sporting event. Of course part of the infrastructure will stand the test of time like the Doha metro which was developed in parallel. It is just one example but I’m sure a lot of infrastructure projects can be fitted under that ambit.

Well, that part of why Qatar had to take up a sporting spectacle is mostly bracketed under what is increasingly categorised as ‘sportswashing’ i.e. using sports as a cover-up and build a better image to overcome other activities. I will not discuss that part in detail here but I will leave you with links to another podcast episode, Freakonomics radio featured this story earlier in 2022 and you should check it out.

Other key topics:

  • Sustainability of large infrastructure projects
  • Positive impacts of London Olympics
  • Sustainability in Beijing & Tokyo Olympics
  • Qatar’s net zero FIFA World Cup

Connect with Jitesh:

Artwork courtesy – a content agency specialised in telling stories in climate, biodiversity and sustainability.

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