Soccer, despite of being one of the leading sports inthe world, had not gained enough popularity in United States until a few years back. It just became popular in the United States in last decade mainly because of the media and the FIFA which was played in the United States in 1994. It becomes clear that it was not until 1990's that "Soccer" was actually seen as a sports in the cities of the United States. In the early stages of the development of Soccer as a sport in United States, it was not well-differentiated from "football" and hence the word "football" was more commonly used for soccer until it became more and more popular with the span of time, for example, American Football Association which was founded in 1884. It's even more interesting to note that what we now call as United States Soccer Association was actually the United States Football Association previously. In the later years, it came to be known as United States Soccer Football Association and it was not until 1974 that it was finally termed as United States Soccer Association. This marks the beginning of development of this particular sport in the United States.
The launch of Major Soccer League in 1996 was the major factor contributing for the growth of Soccer in the United States. MLS comprised of the players which later competed in the 2002 FIFA world cup and surprisingly did very well by making it up to the quarter finals. Today, the Major Soccer League comprises of 16 teams in the U.S. And two in Canada and they are planning to even expand in further in the coming years. Another surprising fact regarding the Soccer in the United States is that its growth and development as a sport is mainly attributed to the Women's game. It's worth mentioning here that the United States holds the prestige of being ranked first in the FIFA Women's World's Rankings. They even have the honor of getting gold medals in football tournaments and winning two of the five FIFA Women's World Cups held so far.
With the introduction of soccer-dominated channels in the United States, this particular sport flourished and became more popular. Some Soccer-specific channels such as Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Soccer plus, are devoted completely to broadcast this sport. These channels provide a good opportunity for the soccer lovers to enjoy the tournaments and even the matches of youth's national teams. Moreover, these kinds of channels are also providing the viewers with full information and news programs about soccer which was previously unavailable to the U.S. viewers. So, another factor contributing to the rise of Soccer in the United States is the wide coverage by media which further contributes to the fact that the U.S. people are now becoming more and more popular to this sport. ("Soccer In The United States," n.d.)
Obstacles in the popularity of soccer in U.S.:
However, there are still some factors which cause hindrance in soccer's growth in popularity. There is a constant competition going on amongst various American youth sports programs. In the high schools in U.S., mostly the preference is given to American football rather than soccer, and in most parts of the country, both the sports are played in the same time of the year, which leads to the fact that the students are unable to play both the sports at the same time and they eventually give preference to football which is a more common and a more popular sport. Soccer used to be so much unpopular in the United States that in most of the high schools, it was not even offered till 1980s and there was rarely any such thing as youth soccer programs in the 1970s. Therefore it was inevitable that the people were not much familiar with soccer till 1970s and the older generations living in U.S. are usually unfamiliar with this sport and lacks their interest, while on the other hand, the people with more exposure to soccer after 1970s can prove to be great fans and viewers. Another considerable fact is that the viewership of soccer is often masked by the country's other "four" major sports (American football, basketball, baseball and ice-hockey). People in the U.S. seem to be more familiar with the above mentioned sports rather than a newly-introduced soccer game which just came into being in the last decade. ("Soccer In The United States," n.d.)
Advantages of bringing soccer world cup in U.S.:
Now a day there is a slight turn in the sports trend of the U.S. where the youth sports organizations are replacing American football with soccer in their programs, mainly because of several advantageous reasons. The cost and expenses of Soccer are far less than those of football, the latter requiring high expensive equipments. In addition to the fact that the American football sport holds a high expenditure, it also holds greater insurance risk and therefore the youth sports organizations are having a gradual inclination towards soccer. The advantageous effect of soccer was also seen when the MLS clubs gained profit in the mid 2000s for the very first time. U.S. has been one of the host countries for Soccer World Cup which is an amazing international event held after every four years and providing the hosting country with a great opportunity for fame and popularity. Being one of the major events, a large number of spectators from all around the world add life to the Soccer World Cup. There is an immense outpouring of different cultures, passion and color when the stadiums are filled with huge crowds of fans. Therefore, this wonderful event adds a lot to the prestige and popularity of the hosting country and also has a considerable effect on the economy of the country. It helps to pour millions of dollars in the U.S. economy through the growth of tourism industry during the Soccer world cup. It also helps to bring about better interaction between people from different parts of the world and gives immense fame to the hosting country. ("Benefits of Hosting World Cup Soccer," n.d.)
Disadvantages of bringing soccer in U.S.:
Along with the above mentioned advantages related to soccer world cup in the U.S., there might be some disadvantages as well. When a country such as U.S. is hosting a soccer world cup event, it has to be sure of many things such as meeting all the requirements of the tourists. There are definitely some financial risks while hosting such a mega event. Sometimes a slow economic growth can be seen as a result of meeting the expenditure of everything related to this event, such as security, transport, accommodation, ticketing etc. It can easily be said that the main disadvantage comes when the hosting country is unable to supply as per the demand of visitors from all over the world. Soccer world cup can even cause an adverse effect on the economy of U.S. If the revenue from the sale of the tickets is not good enough and then it may take several years for the country to build back its economy. Also if the accommodation or the stadium capacity is not enough to handle a huge crowd of spectators, it may create even worse situation for the hosting country.
Research methodologies are methods that assist us in analyzing a situation with logic. Focusing on research methods can make it easier to resolve a problematic scenario and come to a logical solution. (Sidhar, n.d.)
Basic Types of research methods include: (Sidhar, n.d.)
i. Quantitative / Qualitative
ii. Descriptive / Survey iii. Applied iv. Conceptual
v. Others such as Stimulation Research, Historical research, Exploratory vs. formulated research etc.
While conducting the research for the Soccer world Cup, more than one research method were applied. Quantitative method was used to conduct surveys and come up with statistical data. This method gives a clear view of the forecasted situation in terms of economic indicators. It portrays a clear picture of the economy for further analyses. Whereas, conceptual research can also be used to further analyze the situation by taking in consideration not just the quantitative measure but also the previous events. This was done through the use of data from 1994 Soccer World Cup to compare and predict the results for 2018-2022 World Cup.
Statistical data provided in this research paper is taken from the AECOM research. They are a professional research company that conducted research for the previous World Cup in 1994. Being one of the leading research companies, they have conducted research for many sporting event such as Olympics Games and many other events. Their expertise includes conducting research for different clients on basis of financial planning related issues.
Economic factors are one of the highly important factors to consider when bidding to bring the Soccer World Cup to United States. There are different opinions regarding the issue of either to host the…