Today FIFA announced that the 2018 World Cup will be held in Russia, while the 2022 version will be held in Qatar, a country roughly the size of Connecticutt that has never qualified for the tournament and has essentially no existing sports infrastructure.
Qatar beat out the U.S. for the right to host the event shocking many who presumed that the U.S.’ extraordinarily successful 1994 hosting effort would lead to another go round in 2022.
Qatar envisions building 10 new 45,000 person, fully air conditioned stadiums from scratch and then disassembling the stadiums after the games and reassembling them in a variety of developing countries. The U.S. bid proposed using the country’s fantastic available stadiums to generate tons of money for very little expense.
From an economic sense, I think the bids can easily be summed up\ thusly: the U.S. bid is how you maximize profits while the Qatar bid is how you maximize the chance of winning the hosting rights if profit is not an issue.
If two bidders are maximizing over two completely different objective functions, there is no reason to believe that the “obvious” winner will come out ahead.