Thursday, November 2, 2023

Sounds like FIFA can't believe people in Los Angeles don't care about "the prestige of hosting World Cup games"


A standoff between FIFA and officials in Los Angeles, including Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke, could jeopardize LA's involvement in the 2026 World Cup, which will be played across North America


In autocracies, such as Russia and Qatar, governments were quite happy to foot a World Cup’s bill, effectively paying billions for the soft power and other benefits associated with hosting.

But in the U.S., citizens and public officials have been wary. Chicago, among others, declined to even bid for World Cup games, citing taxpayer risk and “FIFA’s inflexibility and unwillingness to negotiate.” 


For Kroenke, the World Cup comes with costs but also opportunity cost. SoFi Stadium regularly hosts concerts and other events. Nine nights of Beyoncé and Taylor Swift this summer likely brought in millions of dollars. The World Cup would interrupt that cash flow. So would pre-tournament construction.


The prestige of hosting World Cup games, on the other hand, is probably worth some degree of financial loss. Those are two of several reasons why most people who spoke with Yahoo Sports remain optimistic that LA won’t withdraw.