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Which are the most expensive FIFA World Cups of all time?

Published at :October 13, 2022 at 10:04 PM
Modified at :October 13, 2022 at 10:05 PM
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This is the biggest sporting tournament in the world!

The FIFA World Cup is one of the most prestigious events in the world, and hosting it always brings a lot of pressure and excitement to the host nation. The whole world pays close attention to this sporting carnival. Over the years, the levels of World Cups have been constantly increasing. Whether it is the quality of the game or technologies, every World Cup brings something new. 

In recent past, nations like Qatar, Russia, and South Africa have invested extensive time and effort into making their hosting the best ever. Nations are even willing to spend billions more than their GDP on facilities to win the hosting rights, which shows how hosting a World Cup is the epitome of pride for any country.

Let's take a look at the most expensive World Cups in the history of football so far.

8. USA (1994)- €0.5 billion

The USA might not be a powerhouse of football, but they hosted one of the most successful editions, in 1994. The average attendance at that 1994 World Cup remains the highest in World Cup history at 63,991. The Brazilians won that World Cup by defeating the mighty Italians at the Rose Bowl in California.

Around €500 million was spent by the USA during the World Cup, which is a lot for the 90s. Nine venues were selected for the World Cup after extensive renovations before the tournament. In 2026, the USA will again serve as host and will be hoping to produce another masterpiece.

7. France (1998)- €2.4 billion

As World Cup hosts in 1998, France faced great pressure after the USA set the bar high in 1994. Furthermore, the 1998 World Cup saw an increase in competition from 24 to 32 nations. 

France selected 10 cities for the mega event with an overall expenditure of €2.4 billion on facilities. In that World Cup, France emerged victorious and home fans played a key role in their success. The average attendance recorded per game at the 1994 World Cup was 43,511.

6. South Africa (2010)- €3.7 billion

The 2010 World Cup was a historic World Cup as it was the first edition to be held in the African continent. Although there were leaks in the media prior to the competition about allegations of bribery against FIFA for awarding the World Cup to South Africa over more footballing nations like Morocco, the host nation lived up to all expectations.

Several new stadiums were built for the event, and historic stadiums such as Soccer City were completely renovated. There were 10 venues selected across nine cities, with Johannesburg hosting the final. The 2010 World Cup is still one of the most iconic editions with the vibe of African culture and the World Cup anthem still being famous among fans.

5. Germany (2006)- €4.5 billion 

Next on the list was the 2006 World Cup staged in Germany. It was Germany's second hosting of the competition, but they didn't let that stop them from spending heavily. Despite having some of the world's best stadiums, they spent around €4.5 billion on World Cup preparations.

The World Cup was a huge success, and Germany was praised for their outstanding hostility. The average attendance throughout the tournament was 52,491.

4. Korea and Japan (2002)- €7.3 billion

Among the most anticipated and surprising World Cups of all time, the 2002 edition was one of the best. It was a tournament where underdogs such as Turkey and South Korea defied the odds and finished third and fourth respectively.

Furthermore, it was the first time the tournament was staged in Asia, and Korea and Japan exceeded expectations. They spent €7.3 billion during the World Cup and completely changed their country's sporting infrastructure. Additionally, the competition saw good attendance, with 2,705,198 people attending in total.

3. Russia (2018)- €12 billion

The 2018 World Cup is the most recent World Cup edition and it was hosted by Russia. The tournament was won by the French National team and overall, it was the most high-profile World Cup of all time. Even before its commencement, the World Cup drew huge attention because of bombing threats from terrorist organizations like ISIS.

The World Cup did not suffer any such problem and concluded without incident. For the World Cup, Russia spent around €12 billion. To prepare for the tournament, they built some high-tech stadiums and imported turf from other countries.

2. Brazil (2014)- €15.6 billion

The 2014 World Cup is one of the most crucial World Cups in football history as it marked the inception of technology at the World Cups. The goal-line technology was introduced in this tournament and Anti-Doping tests were also introduced by FIFA. 

Brazil invested heavily in the World Cup, spending $15.6 billion and renovating some of the iconic stadiums. The investment was also made considering Rio was hosting the 2016 Olympics, so it served a dual purpose.

1. Qatar (2022)- €229 billion

It is still some time away until the 2022 World Cup kicks off, but all facts regarding it are already causing a lot of buzz around the world. In terms of expenditures, the 22nd World Cup is the most high-profile one. For preparations, Qatar has reportedly spent a record €229 billion.

The whole country has been completely revamped with new stadiums, hotels, and training facilities. The World Cup will be played at eight stadiums, all of which have been newly constructed using latest technology imported from other countries. Clearly, Qatar has worked hard for this World Cup, as evidenced by the numbers' difference between it and other World Cups.


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