The Economy of Soccer

Soccer Economy

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The Economy of Soccer

Though baseball and American football still reign as the most popular sports in the U.S., soccer is definitely on the rise. But it’s already risen in most other countries around the world. Let’s take a look at how the American fan base compares to the global soccer industry, as well as how the game has developed over the past couple of centuries.

The Big Numbers

3.5 billion

Estimated soccer fans on Earth (1)

That’s more than 1 in 2 humans.
$5.72 billion

Revenue generated by FIFA, international football’s governing body, during the 2011-14 World Cup cycle (2)

Hey, We Call it Soccer

Soccer in the U.S.

24,472,778

Number of people who play soccer at some level in the U.S. Only China has more. (3)

Soccer is the fourth most popular sport to watch on TV in the U.S. It beats out: (3)

  • Hockey
  • Auto racing
  • Tennis
  • Golf

But soccer still has a ways to go before beating out many other sports, like baseball, American football and basketball.

Total attendance, 2016 season (4, 5, 6)

Major League Soccer: 7.4 million

National Basketball Association: 22 million

Major League Baseball: 73.2 million

U.S. Youth Soccer players registered by year (7)

1974: 103,432

1980: 810,793

1985: 1,210,408

1990: 1,615,041

1995: 2,388,719

2000: 3,020,442

2005: 3,050,465

2007: 3,123,698

2008: 3,148,114

2009: 3,094,868

2010: 3,036,438

2011: 3,025,551

2012: 3,020,633

2013: 2,804,711

2014: 3,055,148

The World’s Game

Soccer around the world

57

Countries where soccer is routinely voted as the most popular sport (8)

Albania

Algeria

Austria

Azerbaijan

Bangladesh

Belgium

Brazil

Brunei

Bulgaria

Burkina Faso

Chile

Colombia

Cote d’Ivoire

Denmark

Egypt

Ethiopia

Germany

Ghana

Gibraltar

Greece

Indonesia

Iran

Iraq

Ireland

Japan

Kazakhstan

Kenya

Kuwait

Libya

Malaysia

Mauritius

Mexico

Morocco

Myanmar

Namibia

Netherlands

Nigeria

Peru

Poland

Portugal

Qatar

Romania

Russia

Saudi Arabia

Singapore

Slovakia

South Africa

Sudan

Sweden

Syrian Arab Republic

Tanzania

Thailand

Uganda

Ukraine

United Arab Emirates

United Kingdom

Uzbekistan

The Global Soccer Economy

The industry of soccer

$29.4 billion

Combined value of top 15 most valuable football clubs in the world (9)

Club: Total value (July 2017) (9)

Manchester United: $3,689,000,000

Barcelona: $3,635,000,000

Real Madrid: $3,580,000,000

Bayern Munich: $2,713,000,000

Manchester City: $2,083,000,000

Arsenal: $1,932,000,000

Chelsea: $1,845,000,000

Liverpool: $1,492,000,000

Juventus: $1,258,000,000

Tottenham Hotspur: $1,058,000,000

Borussia Dortmund: $836,000,000

A.C. Milan: $825,000,000

Paris Saint-Germain: $814,000,000

Schalke 04: $655,000,000

Atlético Madrid: $633,000,000

Inter Milan: $559,000,000

West Ham United: $542,000,000

Roma: $508,000,000

Napoli: $396,000,000

Newcastle United: $383,000,000

$8 billion

Contract signed by the English Premier League for the broadcast of games from 2016 to 2019 (10)

The World Cup effect

While FIFA is generally considered a corrupt organization, many World Cup host countries see at least temporary benefits.

14 million

Jobs created between 2011 and 2014 because of the World Cup (2)

$7.2 billion

Predicted added tax revenue for Brazil, the 2014 host (2)

Soccer Economy

SOURCES

1. http://edition.cnn.com

2. https://globaledge.msu.edu

3. http://www.nbcnews.com

4. http://soccerstadiumdigest.com

5. https://www.usatoday.com

6. http://www.baseball-reference.com

7. http://www.usyouthsoccer.org

8. http://chartsbin.com

9. https://www.forbes.com

10. https://contexts.org