Qatar = Bad Idea
December 10, 2010

Rumors are a-mill about the 2022 World Cup being moved to January.  What a bad idea!  Listen, I’m all for the underdog.  The little guy.  The small country that is smaller than Connecticut.  Sure, it’s great that Qatar got the bid.  But in the wake of the excitement, there are a few things to really consider:

  • For more than half the year, Qatar is an oven.  Not an Easy-Bake Oven, either.  An oven just below the sun that doesn’t need to be powered by gas because the sun is sitting right above it and heating it up.  That kind of oven.  The average daily high during the summer is 115°F.  And absolutely no rain.  I’m thirsty just thinking about it.  Not to mention global warming.  I’m sure by 2022, the average temperature will be more like 125°F.
  • As part of the bid, the Qatar delegation promised to construct nine new stadiums and renovate three others.  This will cost approximately $4 billion, but does not include the $50 billion in infrastructure costs the country will undertake in order to handle the crowds that the World Cup will bring – an approximated doubling of their population.
  • The stadiums they are building are going to be air-conditioned open-air buildings.  NOT DOMES?  Really?  REALLY?  How is that going to be at all economical?  AND: forget about the final trophy, the real prize will be avoiding skin cancer.  Qatar officials say their system of roof-top solar thermal panels will get the temperature down to 80°F on the field.  Maybe I’m spoiled, but that’s still pretty warm.
I don’t know. I’m torn.  It’s great that the Middle East is going to get a bunch of new tourism, but why wouldn’t Dubai have gone for it?  Qatar is still developing.  Sure, this will give them incentive to develop faster, but at what cost?  Well, $50 billion, I guess!  What do you think?  Should one of the other bidding countries (USA, Australia, South Korea) have gotten the bid, or was this a good choice?
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