Sunday, December 19, 2010

Qatar Invests Big in World Cup, Economic Makeover

Qatar is expecting to spend more than $65 billion preparing to host the 2022 World Cup. That investment, however, is aimed more at remaking the country's economy and international position than hosting the tournament.

Qatar will build nine stadiums and refurbish three more and plans to equip each with solar-powered air conditioning to fight temperatures that approach 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit) in the summer. The sheikdom promised FIFA, world soccer’s governing body, to more than double hotel and apartment rooms to 84,000 and build a $25 billion rail and metro network. South Africa said it spent about $11.4 billion preparing for the 2010 World Cup, or about $232 per person.

“The event is a catalyst for the development and the expansion of the economy and population overall,” said Mark Proudly, associate director at property adviser DTZ Research in Doha.

Qatar Places $65 Billion Bet on Remaking Economy in World Cup Preparation
December 16, 2010

Infrastructure Remains a Concern in Brazil Ahead of Mega-Events

Ahead of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics, infrastructure concerns are rapidly increasing in Brazil.

President-elect Dilma Rousseff has pledged to rebuild and revitalize airports, roads, ports, railways and power plants as part of efforts to improve infrastructure. Her administration may create an agency or secretariat for aerospace issues, Valor Economico newspaper reported Nov. 23.

Such a plan “makes sense,” Rosangela Ribeiro, an analyst at brokerage SLW Corretora said in a phone interview from Sao Paulo. “We have a big infrastructure problem, and this jeopardizes the flights. I think it can have a positive result.”

Rio Must Act to Avoid Airport `Disaster' Before World Cup, Governor Says
December 17, 2010

Qatar's World Cup Infrastructure to be FInished in '7 Years'

Qatar's Prime Minister is pledging to finish all of the country's 2022 World Cup-related infrastructure projects within 7 years.

Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani said: “All our infrastructure shall finish in seven years maximum”.

Qatar PM: Infrastructure "shall finish in 7 years"
Construction Week Online
December 16, 2010

San Francisco Looks to Host 2013 America's Cup

Officials in San Francisco have approved the city's bid to host the 2013 America's Cup, an international sailing race. Major infrastructure upgrades would be built if the city wins the bid. The decision will be made by the end of the year.

Ellison’s team is actually sponsored by the city’s Golden Gate Yacht Club, and all the supervisors had to agree to was some $80 million in infrastructure upgrades and long-term leases on select pieces of waterfront property. After the 11-0 vote was handed down, San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom quickly signed the order. If the city had not approved the bid by Friday, San Francisco’s chances would’ve been severely hampered, as race organizers wanted some assurances before making a final decision.

San Francisco Close to Securing America’s Cup
December 15, 2010

Russia To Upgrade Rail to High Speeds Ahead of 2018 World Cup

Russia plans to expand and upgrade its rail system ahead of the 2018 World Cup to include high speed links between host cities.

New services designed to cut journey times and run more frequently than present services will be built between Moscow, Kazan, Samara and Ulyanovsk, Putin said.

"It will be a powerful incentive for the development of high speed rail services in the European part of Russia," he said.

Putin promises high speed travel during 2018 World Cup
RIA Novosti
December 12, 2010

South Africa Sees Small Return on World Cup Expenditures

The South African government is reporting a $500 million return on the $4.6 billion it spent to host the 2010 World Cup.

Marthinus van Schalkwyk, South Africa's tourism minister, said just 309,000 foreign fans attended the tournament, compared to predictions of 450,000.

South African-based companies also failed to reap the benefits of the tournament, according to a study by KPMG. Just 22pc of KPMG's 100 biggest African clients, including several multinationals, said they had benefited from the World Cup, compared to 45pc predicting a boost last year.

South Africa recoups just a tenth of the £3bn cost of staging World Cup 2010
The Telegraph
December 10, 2010

Qatar Kicks Off 200 Projects in Early 2011

More than 200 projects are expected to launch in Qatar during the first quarter of 2011, as the country prepares to host the 2022 World Cup.

Qatari planners met and decided to launch a staggering 200 projects in different areas by the Q1 of next year, saying these ventures would herald the start of preparations for the 2022 World Cup Soccer.

Dr Ibrahim and Ibrahim from the General Secretariat for Development Planning said that "Decks are cleared for the launch of the above projects as part of the National Development Strategy 2011 to 2016.”

Qatar to launch 200 projects in Q1 of 2011
Steel Guru
December 9, 2010

Cruise Ship Camping During 2022 World Cup

Though currently unable to accommodate the amount of guests expected at a World Cup, Qatar has plans to boost its hotel capacity ahead of the 2022 World Cup, and plans to use cruise ships as temporary hotel spaces.

"There are plans to double the supply of rooms in hotels and guest apartments by 2022 to cover the everyday requirements of an economy that is expected to continue growing strongly," the world's governing soccer body said in its official report on the evaluation of the Qatari bid.

Qatar proposes "more than 240 different properties" mostly in the four-star category but also several in the three and five-star category and a few two-star properties, it said.

Qatar to use cruise ship for World Cup accomodation
December 6, 2010

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Improving FIFA's World Cup Hosting Requirements to Create Better Cities

[Note: This is a blog post I wrote for Planetizen's blog, Interchange, which includes an academic-type paper I wrote on FIFA's requirements for World Cup host cities.]

[B]ecause of the minimal requirements made of the cities hosting World Cup matches, how cities prepare for the event is hardly a concern to FIFA, soccer's international governing body. Whether hosting the World Cup makes a city exponentially better or terrifyingly less efficient is irrelevant to FIFA, based on how it guides the cities intending to host this event. The long-term impact of the event is hardly considered, and its potential to create the sort of vast civic improvement projects often resulting from such international event hosting is ignored. By not acknowledging the urban interventions made by host cities in preparation for World Cup hosting, FIFA is essentially turning a blind eye to the possible great things its event can bring to or inspire in cities.

Why Hosting a World Cup Doesn't Matter for Cities, and How it Can
December 2, 2010

$100 Billion In Infrastructure for Qatar

Economists are predicting more than $100 billion (USD) worth of investment in infrastructure ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Much of that investment is expected to be through public-private partnerships.

A compelling statistic the report reveals is the present value of major infrastructure projects currently under construction in Qatar which amounts to over US$55Bn, around half of the estimated US$100bn to be awarded in the near future.

"The build-up to the World Cup will give additional momentum as well as push ahead the time frame of these projects," added James.

...More than $75bn has been invested in this sector since 2004.

''World Cup Will Spur'' Qatar's $100bn Infrastructure Projects Market
The Peninsula
December 5, 2010

Critic: Long-Term Impact Unlikely from Russia's 2018 Investment

Critics argue that the $10 billion investment Russia plans for its infrastructure ahead of the 2018 World Cup won't be enough to make a long-lasting impact on its cities.

Yulia Tsyplyayeva, chief economist at Moscow's office of BNP Paribas, said Friday that Russia badly needs structural reforms but the World Cup is unlikely to give an impetus to them.

Russian cities to get hollow World Cup facelift
December 3, 2010

Durban Leads South African Cities As Potential Olympic Host

Durban appears to be winning the race among four South African cities interested in a potential bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics. The bidding process is expected to begin formally in 2011, and the host will be selected in 2013.

Durban appears to be in the driving seat, positioning itself strongly and developing the Kings’s Park sporting precinct.

The precinct runs from the Moses Mabhida Stadium to the Durban International Convention Centre and provides, among other things, a 76 000-seater stadium, several small stadiums including Absa Stadium, a cycling track and an arena suitable for indoor sports.

A senior city official said the city had already begun its lobbying process, with KwaZulu-Natal’s premier, Zweli Mkhize, notifying the South African bid committee of the province’s willingness to back the city’s bid.

Durban ahead in Olympics bid
Sport 24
December 5, 2010

A Peek at Moscow's World Cup Stadium

Fast Co. Design offers this look at some of the renderings for the proposed World Cup stadium to be built in Russia ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

The stadium, VTB Arena Park, is designed by Dutch architect Erick van Egeraat and his Russian partner Mikhail Posokhin. Their plans include building a park with public green space, shopping, restaurants, training facilities, and even a hotel. The big design move here is the redevelopment of the Dynamo Moscow Stadium, a football arena and erstwhile Olympics venue built in 1928. With the new setup, two stadia will be plunked down over the old one, so that the existing perimeter facade is neatly preserved.

Here's Moscow's Showpiece Stadium for the 2018 World Cup
Fast Co. Design

Power Utility a Profitable Legacy of 2010 Olympics

A heat-from-sewage facility built in Vancouver's 2010 Olympic Village is working so well that city officials are able to charge customers less for power and still take in a profit.

In what city engineers said is a happy and surprising discovery, the cost of operating the facility has dropped by 40 per cent while recovery from heat generated from sewage pipes has risen.

As a result, the utility, which provides heat to all of the Olympic Village as well as surrounding commercial and residential buildings, has already met its target of being price-competitive with BC Hydro, Brian Crowe, an assistant city engineer, told city council Thursday.

Next March Hydro will raise electricity rates across the province to about $87 per kilowatt hour. But the city's utility, which services about 1,600 homes and businesses, is able to offer a price of $84 per kilowatt hour and still make a reasonable profit for the city, Crowe said.

Olympic Village's heat-from-sewage utility a monetary success
The Vancouver Sun
December 2, 2010

China Eyes World Cup - In 20 Years

China is still interested in hosting the World Cup, though FIFA's host rotation and selection rules will keep it out of the running until the 2030 World Cup.

By selecting Qatar, FIFA precluded a 2026 bid from China, since the same continent cannot host consecutive World Cups. That would seem to make 2030 the first year for which China has a realistic chance of winning a bid.

Wei told Titan Sports that a choice of date remained open and acknowledged differences of opinion over the matter within the country's sports bureaucracy and society at large.

China says still interested in World Cup bid
The Associated Press
December 2, 2010

Brazil's World Cup Delays

Delays are plaguing Brazil's 12 World Cup host cities, including Rio which is also preparing for the 2016 Olympics. The delays have raised doubts in some people's minds that the country will be able to pull off these major events.

Practically all the works which were to have been carried out starting in May in the 12 venues across Brazil for the football tournament have run into delays, and the December 2012 deadline for completion is looking iffy.

Yet that's the date needed because Brazil is also hosting FIFA's Confederation Cup in 2013.

In June this year, just half the 12 Brazilian cities hosting games have started work to get stadiums and infrastructure into shape, triggering a warning from FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke to get cracking.

Brazil's World Cup preps dogged by doubts, delays
December 2, 2010

Longshot Qatar to Host 2022 World Cup

Considered a long shot when it first announced its bid, Qatar is now set to host the 2022 World Cup -- and seemingly has the money to make it work.

Qatar is promising to spend $42.9 billion on infrastructure upgrades and $4 billion to build nine stadiums and renovate three others. All those stadiums, Qatar says, will have a state-of-the art cooling system that will keep temperatures about 27 degrees C (81 degrees F). Similar cooling systems will be used at training sites and even fan zones.

It also made a strong argument for the legacy of the tournament, since it would be the first time the event is held in the Middle East. Blatter seemed to be taken by that when he visited Doha earlier this year, saying the region deserved to host a tournament.

The region has the demographics that any sports federation covets: nearly half the population of the Gulf is under 30 years old. Qatar also brings a powerful media ally as the patron of the Al-Jazeera network, which reaches nearly the entire Arabic-speaking world.

Qatar: From longshot to 2022 World Cup host
Sports Illustrated
December 2, 2010

A Look at Five of Qatar's 2022 World Cup Stadia

This post from Business Insider shows five videos of the proposed stadia to be built in Qatar for its 2022 World Cup.

Earlier this year they revealed their $4 billion plans for nine futuristic stadiums to hold soccer matches in the middle of a desert summer.

See The Amazing Stadiums That Will Hold The 2022 World Cup In Qatar
Business Insider
December 2, 2010

Russia and Qatar to Host 2018, 2022 World Cups

Russia has been selected to host the 2018 World Cup, and Qatar has been selected to host the 2022 World Cup. These will be the first World Cups hosted by both countries.

Qatar, with 1.7 million people, only 300,000 of whom are citizens, is the smallest nation to host a World Cup. But with one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, it won with a bid that urged FIFA officials to make history as well as money. The success of the 2010 tournament, which was held in Africa for the first time, apparently further emboldened FIFA officials to continue to take its grandest spectacle to yet another part of the world, something that places soccer’s vision far ahead of the Olympics.

Russia and Qatar Win World Cup Bids
The New York Times
December 2, 2010