Every Olympic games fan is excited about the games finally taking place after such a long waiting period. Many are searching for important information about the events, interesting titbits about the history of Olympic games and general trivia about the players, venue and the games in the Olympics. While searching about Olympic games, people are also debating which is the biggest event, the Olympics or FIFA World Cup.
The root of this debate can be found in the popularity of soccer all over the world. People have their opinions about each event and can argue that the one they are voting for is the biggest event but we are here, to get to the bottom of this, and find out which event is actually the biggest based on quantitative and qualitative parameters.
Olympics vs FIFA World Cup: Which is the biggest sporting event?
Undoubtedly, both, the Olympics and FIFA World Cup are can be listed as the biggest sporting events. But to see which one is the biggest compared to the other, we are going to look at some parameters. Here are the parameters and comparisons of Olympics vs FIFA World Cup to decide which event is the biggest one.
- Olympics: According to the data available about Olympic games played in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, the Olympics had 3.6 billion spectators around the world.
- FIFA World Cup: According to FIFA, the average game of the 2018 world cup, out of 64 games, was watched by 191 million people. The 2018 world cup final in Russia had a live viewership of 1.12 billion people.
Clearly, in regards to viewership, Olympic games have the lead.
- Olympics: According to seatgeek.com, the average ticket price for London Olympics in 2012 was $2,550. The range of the prices was starting from $31.57 to more than $3,000.
- FIFA World Cup: According to CBSNews.com, the tickets to the final match in the 2014 world cup, which was played between the USA and Germany, had an average cost of $894. The ticket price for finals was around $5,000.
In the aspect of ticket prices, when average prices are compared, the Olympics gets a point but when individual ticket prices for specific events are compared, FIFA gets a point.
Number of Participating Nations
- Olympics: The total number of countries which participated in the London Olympics of 2012 was 204.
- FIFA World Cup: The total number of countries which participated in the FIFA World Cup of 2014 in Brazil was 31.
There is no debate about the Olympics winning this round as more countries participate in the Olympic games than FIFA World Cup.
Winning Prize Money
- Olympics: The revenue of the Olympic games is estimated to be around $5.2 billion. This may seem like a huge amount of revenue but by the time the cost of organizing the Olympic events is subtracted, much smaller amounts of rewards can be given to the players.
- FIFA World Cup: With all the broadcasting rights and sponsorships, the FIFA world cup in Russia in 2018 gathered a revenue of around $6 billion. According to statistics, the prize for the world cup was $791 million.
Even though the gap between revenues gathered from both the events is not huge, the prize money for FIFA winners is definitely more than that of Olympic game-winners.
- Olympics: In Olympic games, winners get crowned with gold, silver and bronze medals. These medals hold great significance as the players win it for their countries and get to take those medals home as a token of appreciation for their amazing talent.
- FIFA World Cup: FIFA World Cup has one trophy for the winning team. This trophy has tremendous historical significance as there are only two trophies that have ever been used and are made of 18K gold. The trophy that is currently being used is being used since 1974. The winning team gets to keep it till the next world cup.
Yes. Everyone that gets the Olympic medals gets to keep it but it also means that there are many medals for many people which makes the trophy of FIFA World Cup much more prestigious. When it comes to prestige, the FIFA world cup clearly has a lead.
Final Conclusion: Which is the biggest sporting event?
Olympics is clearly winning in the aspects of participating countries with a huge gap in the numbers when compared to countries participating in FIFA World Cup. Olympics also has a huge amount of fanbase all over the world which contributes to more viewership when compared to that of the FIFA World Cup. But FIFA has great leads at ticket prices as the highest ticket prices and the average ticket prices are greater than that of the Olympics.
When compared to the prize money, FIFA World Cup has more of it than the Olympics. And last but not least, the trophy of the FIFA World Cup is much more prestigious than the Olympic medals.
According to these parameters, the Olympics can be declared to be the biggest sporting event when compared to the FIFA World Cup. But the rising issues of the Olympics and continuous drop in TV ratings and viewership, FIFA World Cup can become the biggest sporting event in the upcoming few years.