Consumer spending at the 2022 FIFA World Cup is on pace to set a new record and exceed the 2018 edition of soccer’s showpiece event, according to a report.

Visa, the official payment technology partner of FIFA, yesterday (December 8) released data about spending on Visa cards for all official World Cup venues from the start of the tournament through the end of the group stage on December 2.  

According to the data, fans had already spent 89% of what they did in the 2018 World Cup in Russia despite a late ban on in-stadium alcohol sales.

Spending has already exceeded the total amount at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil (192%).

FIFA officials project the World Cup’s current four-year revenue cycle will surpass the $5.4 billion it made in Russia in 2018 and reach around $7.5 billion.

The average in-stadium transaction amount for all matches during the group stage of the tournament was $23. Across all matches, the top three spend categories were merchandise (47%), food and beverages (36%), and FIFA ticketing (11%).

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The huge spending is also despite host nation Qatar welcoming just over 765,000 visitors during the first two weeks of the tournament, which fell short of its 1.2 million expectation.

According to a report by the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC), the tournament organizers, which was obtained by Reuters, the first 17 days of the World Cup saw 765,859 international visitors, more than half of whom have now departed.

The report registered 1.33 million match ticketholders and around 3 million tickets sold across the eight stadiums for the tournament that ends on December 18.

It also revealed that cumulative stadium attendance at the first 52 matches was 2.65 million.

Image: Claudio Villa/Getty Images