The Cost of Hosting the FIBA World Cup Was High. Was it Worth the Price?

The price tag to host the FIBA World Cup was high, but the Philippines stands to earn a lot from the event.

Hosting the FIBA Basketball World Cup would be a huge deal to any country, as it is the biggest international tournament in the sport. But for the Philippines to host the event is quite another deal in itself, as many people from all around the world are aware of how basketball-crazy Filipinos can be. In fact, NBA players such as Austin Reaves and Klay Thompson, who came to the Southeast Asian nation for the World Cup, have expressed that they have felt the Filipino love for basketball even when playing at home.

Indeed, the Philippines is huge on basketball. And this is why hosting the FIBA World Cup, no matter how expensive such a task might be, was thought to be worth it early on.

The Philippines won the hosting bid in 2017 along with Japan and Indonesia. Manny V. Pangilinan was among the spearheads of the effort to win the right to host the World Cup, and he spared no effort, as he wanted this very event to be his legacy for Philippine basketball — even though he knew that the bill would be expensive.

So, how much did hosting the FIBA World Cup cost?
2023 FIBA World Cup in Philippine Arena
(Photo credit: FIBA Communications)

The cost of hosting the 2023 FIBA World Cup was a huge topic of conversation, especially in the lead-up to the tournament. Sources have reported in the past that the original budget was set at PHP 800 million, however, was hiked up to over PHP 1 billion.

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) needed a huge sum in order to cover many of the expenses that come with hosting a competition that includes 32 nations. But, of course, co-hosts Japan and Indonesia shouldered their own pieces of the pie as well.

SBP needed to spread this huge budget over a number of expenses, including tournament fees, logistics, infrastructures, and manpower salaries, for starters. On top of this, given that the participating nations only pay for their airfare to fly to the World Cup host countries, a large chunk of the budget also went to players’ accommodations, food, and other needs.

A lot of moving pieces need to come together to pull off this major event. But, in the end, it all seemed worth the trouble, as the Philippines has so far received positive feedback from FIBA representatives and players.

Was it worth the price?
Steve Kerr arrives to the Philippines for the 2023 FIBA World Cup
(Photo credit: FIBA Basketball World Cup on Facebook)

In the middle of the tournament’s quarterfinal round, taking place on Philippine soil, the FIBA World Cup 2023 Executive Director David Crocker gave the country a positive review, saying, “The experience of the players and the fans, which are the top priorities of the World Cup, have received only high praise…For the fans, the games have been fantastic and we have some exciting matches ahead of us.”

“From the time they stepped on the airport, all the way to the hotel, the treatment of the people, they are all smiling, very warm, and they find solutions for you.”

With this, it seems that putting in the money, time, and effort to ensure the tournament’s smooth running was worth it, given the positive experiences that the players are having all the while competing for the Naismith Trophy.

But, perhaps, even more valuable than this is the fact the Philippines’ hosting of the 2023 FIBA World Cup has put the country on the map as a nation that is capable of delivering world-class sporting experiences.

How much does the Philippines stand to earn?
Filipino basketball fans at the opening of the 2023 FIBA World Cup
(Photo credit: Vyn Radovan)

Of course, we cannot forget that hosting a sporting event as huge as the 2023 FIBA World Cup comes with a payout in the end, too, especially with basketball fans from all over the world coming to the Philippines to watch their national teams fight for glory. With this, the Philippines stands to gain a lot from this event.

Given that the World Cup action is still ongoing (as of writing), we are still yet to see just how much the Philippines will have earned from this event. But, we can look to Spain’s last hosting for some idea.

When Spain hosted the World Cup, a FIBA study showed that the country accumulated $396 million (or PHP22.6 billion) in revenues after setting an operational budget of around PHP 2.2 billion.

But even apart from the money, the Philippines has already earned a lot from this event. All in all, it has been a success, reaching record-breaking attendance records and giving way for memorable sporting experiences to players and fans alike. With all this, the country’s hosting and all the costs for the 2023 FIBA World Cup have been the epitome of a nation’s love for a sport, and this is a legacy that many of us basketball lovers will remember for the rest of our lives.

Banner images from AFP and FIBA Communications.

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