Thursday, June 15, 2006

Economics Of The World Cup

· Britons will consume an extra 218 billion calories during the World Cup, according to a report by the Liberal Democrats. We will eat enough pizza to cover 320 football pitches.

· Bookmakers and betting exchanges expect fans to gamble £1 billion on the World Cup, almost three times the £350m waged on the 2002 tournament.

· One man who has bet £200,000 on England to win could collect £1.4m. A man in Glasgow in the middle of a messy divorce has gambled his £27,000 life savings on Brazil to win with Coral, the bookmakers. Malcolm Boyle, author of The 2006 World Cup Betting Guide, suggests a small flutter on Serbia and Montenegro at 125-1 to win.

· The World Cup will give a £13 billion boost to the economies of the 32 countries competing in the tournament, says the Centre for Economics and Business Research. It says Britain could gain £1.3 billion.

· On the downside, many employers will lose out because of the World Cup. Grant Thornton, the accountants, claim absenteeism and distraction caused by the games could cost businesses £1.26 billion.

· 4.2m fans and guests are expected to travel to Germany during the World Cup. The games will be watched by a cumulative worldwide television audience of 30 billion, seven times that of the Olympics. The average viewing figures for each match are expected to be 500m.

· Almost 31m people in Britain were expected to follow England’s opening game against Paraguay yesterday. Of those, 21m were expected to watch it live or view the highlights on television at home or with friends. Three million more were expected to watch it in the pub, with millions more monitoring it on radio, the internet or mobile phones.

· Supporters will drink an extra 80m pints of beer and lager if England go all the way to the final, says the British Beer and Pub Association. A report by Deloitte, the financial services company, warns some retailers could run out of beer because of problems predicting demand.

· In the past 10 World Cups no team has won with a roster of players with an average age of more than 28. That could rule out Brazil and Italy — and England’s next opponents, Trinidad and Tobago, the oldest in the tournament with an average age of 29.5.

· Hot weather and the football has boosted barbecue sales at Asda by 185%. Sainsbury expected to sell 500,000 punnets of strawberries and half a million kebabs yesterday.

· The German Chamber of Commerce predicts about 60,000 new jobs will be created. The country expects 1m foreign visitors this summer, more than double the average number of visitors who attended each of the past five Olympic games.

· Not everybody likes soccer, especially young women. There has been a 15% increase in the bookings for singles’ holidays abroad this month.

The Times