In Soccernomics, a book written after the 2006 World Cup in Germany, economist Stefan Szymanski and sports journalist Simon Kuper note that if German experience is anything to go by, visitors spend much less than the host country does to prepare for the event. Local estimates are that the World Cup's R20 billion contribution to GDP will be dwarfed by the R80 billion government will have spent on infrastructure. As they write: "The next World Cup will not be an airplane dropping dollars on South Africa."
We rarely manage to fill even our current sports stadiums. The new, bigger stadiums will be white elephants, until we host another event on the scale of a football World Cup or Olympic Games. How many of those are we really expecting? One in a generation, if we're lucky.