Tag Archives: FIFA 2010

World Cup Blog: Vuvuzelas On a Plane

6 Jul

Editor’s note: Venues Today magazine has hired University of Florida student Philip Costa to write about his trip to South Africa with students from George Mason University.

If you’ve watched any World Cup games this year, you’ve probably wondered why there is a swarm of bees in the ESPN studio. There’s also a good chance that you know the Vuvuzela has taken over South Africa this summer.

Despite their prevalence, there were alot of people against these horns. Many members of the media lobbied against the Vuvuzela, as it would be annoying to TV viewers. There have also been teams (France, not to name any names), that have blamed poor play on the inability to hear teammates. Although there was much talk of only allowing it during South African matches, FIFA decided that this was a part of the culture and would be allowed.

I am not 100% sure of the origin of the Vuvuzela, because there have been a number of stories. Regardless, they have recently become a staple in SA soccer games. Tradition has to start somewhere, right?

When you’re in the stadium, the noise is actually not overwhelming. It’sprevalent when there is a goal scored or a big play, but not deafening like you would assume based on TV broadcasts. The only bad part is if you have someone blowing the horn 3 inches from your ear for 90 minutes. Surprisingly, it’s much more annoying in the comfort of your living room.

Even though the noise wasn’t as bad as expected, I still would have preferred if the horns weren’t allowed at all matches. I appreciate the South African soccer culture, but I don’t think it should have overshadowed the culture of soccer in it’s entirety.  One of the main aspects of going to a soccer game, especially an international one, is songs and chants. There is literally a battle of two countries singing and chanting for their country for 90+ minutes. This is something that was missing from the World Cup.

With all this talk of Vuvuzelas, it’s only fair to mention that there are now federal regulations banning them on airplanes.

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World Cup Blog: Studying the Economic Impact of a ‘World’ly Event

29 Jun

The allure of hosting a mega event, such as the World Cup, is something that many countries compete for year after year. This makes you think that there would be an immediate economic impact and many positive draws from putting on such a spectacle.

We visited Stellenbosch University, outside of Cape Town, South Africa, and discussed this topic with a few top professionals in the area. There was a lot to learn about the landscape behind this tourist attraction.

One of the main aspects to understand is that sport tourists are different than traditional tourists. Generally, when people vacation in Africa they come for the “big 5” wild animals associated with the country, safaris, beaches, and other traditional tourist incentives. However, especially in these economic times, people aren’t going to be as likely to spend their dollars in these areas. For the most part, soccer fans spend money solely on tickets, food, and drinks.  At the same time that these sports visitors are keeping their pockets closed, other tourists are not visiting. Due to increased flight and hotel prices brought on by the World Cup, non-soccer fans generally won’t come to the host country during 2010.

South Africa has spent over $52 billion dollars to build stadiums, infrastructure, and other costs directly related to the World Cup. One positive of hosting such an event is that there are now better roads and resources to move forward with. However, the total monetary cost is an appalling number. To put it in perspective, Beijing spent $48 billion to host the Olympics, and this was the most of any Olympic event, to date.

Just like many think that there are economic benefits, many also assume that the event is providing many jobs. That’s true, but unfortunately those jobs usually are not permanent. There were over a million jobs terminated last year, and 100,000+ World Cup-related jobs lost this year due to the construction of stadiums and roads being completed.

At the end of the day, there are many immediate numbers that don’t support a positive picture of the World Cup in South Africa. It will take between 10-18 years to actually see the economic impact of this event.  Regardless of the figures, it is the infrastructure and word of mouth that the country is hoping to benefit from and build upon. It is up to the visitors, such as myself, to explain the beauty, love and impact that visiting South Africa can have on people.

World Cup Blog: Quality of Play Goes South in South Africa

22 Jun

Editor’s note: Venues Today magazine has hired University of Florida student Phil Costa to write about his trip to South Africa with students from George Mason University.

Unfortunately, things aren’t looking too good for the African teams in the World Cup.  Along with their home nation, everyone in South Africa has been cheering for the African squads.  The match between Brazil and  the Ivory Coast (or Côt’e D’Ivoire ) was supposed to be one of the top games of the first round, but finished with an unfortunate 3-1 display.

Another unfavorable aspect has been some game changing calls made by the referees.  To highlight a few that have been disappointing:

1) The “3rd goal” that should have been in the U.S. vs. Slovenia match.  This would have given the U.S. the victory and an assured spot in the next round.

2) The goal in the New Zealand vs. Italy game that was a few yards offsides.  New Zealand scored; not exactly favorable for the reigning World Cup champions.

3) Two blatant hand balls in one play, resulting in a goal, for Fabiano of Brazil.  This put the Ivory Coast behind by two goals, and all but eliminated a chance to make a final run in the game.

4)  A handful of red and yellow cards that have sent players off of the field, and suspended them for other games.  Specifically, during the Brazil vs. Ivory Coast and Germany vs. Serbia matches.

Looks like a few refs might be losing their jobs.

Tomorrow I will be traveling back to Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium for the Chile vs. Switzerland match.  This has turned out to be a big time game for Group H; the winner should advance to the next round.

Until tomorrow, Cheers.

Meet Philip Costa, World Cup Blogger

17 Jun

Venues Today is very excited about hiring Philip Costa to cover the World Cup for our online properties. This senior at the University of Florida is currently doing a multi-week tour through South Africa with a group of students at George Mason University. We could tell you more about one of VT’s favorite interns (besides our own Heather and Jessica), but we figured we’d give the jet set traveler his own chance to introduce himself.

Hello Venues Today readers. I’m Phil, a lifelong sports and soccer fan (and soon to be job applicant!). I am a 4th year Sport Management student at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Throughout my time in undergrad, I have had the opportunity to attend industry conferences such as Event and Arena Marketing, the International Association of Assembly Mangagers, and Sports, Entertainment and Venues Tomorrow conference in Columbia, S.C.. I’ve also worked at the O’Connell Center and Athletic Association at UF. But that’s all on hold as I set off on a three-week journey to South Africa with a group of students, and a professor from George Mason University.  During this trip we will attend three soccer matches, check out a variety of tourist destinations, and see the sport best described at The Beautiful Game. I plan on updating the blog throughout my trip and providing a better understanding about  soccer, South Africa’s sport system, and the FIFA World Cup. Stay tuned…my first bout is at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium to Germany play Serbia in a Group D matchup.