Sorry 49ers/Raiders, if you were hoping for a future World Cup bid to help pay off/showcase your new stadium(s), that argument has gone out the window. Incredibly, the United States’ bid for the 2022 tournament was beaten in the final vote by the tiny, oil-rich nation of Qatar. As small as it is (1.7 million residents), Qatar has a unique history that might make it the best – and perhaps only – place to host the World Cup in the Middle East. Incidents of terrorism are far more rare in Qatar than in many of its neighbors. Yet it’s strange that in an era when many countries are pulling together for bids (Japan-South Korea in 2006, Spain-Portugal bid in 2018), a nation as small as Qatar can actually pull it off. The scope will be even smaller than the country, as the bid specifies that half of the venues, including the biggest ones, will be built or expanded in the capital, Doha. It’s like awarding the World Cup to Santa Clara County, and having half of the games played in San Jose.
Currently, only Doha’s Khalifa International Stadium has a capacity large enough (50,000) to hold a WC match among Qatar’s existing stadia. To accommodate the large crowds, seven new stadia are planned, all with a capacity of 40,000 or more. Five other stadia will be expanded. Some will have temporary upper decks which could be dismantled and sent to developing countries to help build their own sports venues. Most of the facilities will not be domed, but will instead have extensive roofs covering the seating areas, as is done in Europe. To address the desert heat, some kind of fancy new cooling technology will be in place:
Qatar has employed a number of experts to work on new technology that will keep the temperature of spectator areas to 18C, and the temperature on the pitch to 27C.
The technology has been designed using solar technology so that the cooling systems will be carbon-neutral, according to the bid committee.
Are they being intentionally coy as to what the technology is?
In any case, it’s a lot of money to spend on a month-long event. A new international airport is under construction, and a metro rail project will begin shortly.
BTW, Russia won the 2018 World Cup, beating out England, Belgium-Netherlands, and Spain/Portugal.
I spent the summer of 1991 in the Persian Gulf/Bahrain (US Navy) and that was the hottest weather I’ve ever experienced. 120-125 degrees, with Persian Gulf humidity, was common. Spend a 4-hour watch on the pier and you go back to the ship completely drenched in sweat. That cooling technology better be good for the World Cup or else players and fans will be dropping like flies.
FIFA: what the hell?
FIFA doesn’t think of itself as a soccer-governing body. they like to place themselves on the same level as sovereign govs.
I get the feeling England would’ve won this bid if BBC hadn’t conducted an extensive investigation into the corruption charges. Similarly, Qatar’s decision to donate added upper decks to stadiums for developing nations probably gave FIFA this idea that they’d help transform the history of soccer.
Possibly the most corrupt organization on this planet, but part of the fun of the world cup is its totally unpredictable and players have to deal with the most extreme conditions. Good luck to the various agencies that will be responsible for security there.
well i was trying to edit my post to add spaces between paragraphs but apparently safari’s not compatible. Oh well.
Too funny. Los Angeles developers had it all planned out… Everything but the actual WC coming to town to play matches in their brand new stadium. When fans and players are passing out left and right, I guess FIFA officials will be able to fan themselves with their fists full of dolla dolla bills…
FIFA has proven itself ridiculous. I don’t care what they think of themselves.
Hopefully the US bid committee learned something. You need to up your bribes people. Don’t waste it on a good bid, FIFA doesn’t give a crap where they play it, just so long as the 22 members of the Executive Committee get their perks.
It would be interesting to see how the TV rights in terms of the US market would shake out after this. ESPN has rights to the World Cup for the States through 2014. FIFA would like to open up bidding for the next cycle (2018 and 2022) some time soon. The way I see it, having matches at least 7 hours AHEAD of Eastern Standard Time would be a problem for people on the Left Coast.
Rumors are that ESPN/ABC and a presumed combination of NBC and Comcast might bid, with NewsCorp as a distinct possibility. Don’t count out NewsCorp, as they already have soccer-minded infrastructure in place with their stakes in Sky Sports and Fox Soccer Channel. Pay-per-view might be even possible for some matches.
Oh, yeah, Moscow and Doha…ugh!