A World Cup is an event that transcends the mere sporting sphere and ends up encompassing social and cultural aspects as well. Expectations are high and the wait is long. After waiting for four years, this tournament returns in Qatar 2022, a country that expects a large number of visitors.

FIFA dared to bring its most prestigious tournament to a land that did not know what it was like to host it, the Middle East. Qatar 2022 will be a real adventure for all those who attend it, but also a great test for the host nation, which must prove that its unique culture can accommodate a celebration dedicated entirely to soccer.

Thus, from November 20 to December 18, the dates on which the World Cup will be held for the first time in its 92-year history, the great soccer community, led by its millions of fans, will gather in the 5 cities and 8 stadiums that will bring to life Qatar 2022, the 22nd edition of FIFA's flagship tournament.

Background to consider for Qatar 2022: attendance at past World Cups

The great debut of the FIFA World Cups took place in Uruguay 1930, where a total of 434,000 people attended the 27-day, 18-match tournament. Since then, many things have changed, starting with marketing and ending with the infrastructure of both FIFA and the countries that host each edition.*

Forty years later, in Mexico 1970, the World Cup could finally be enjoyed around the world in a live, full-color broadcast. However, in the host country, a total of 1,673,000 people attended, at least duly counted with a ticket in hand, after 32 matches played: an increase of more than 400%.

Attendance at the last World Cup: the numbers for Russia 2018

The 21st edition of the FIFA World Cup brought together millions of fans in the former Soviet Union. According to official FIFA figures, 7.7 million fans attended the Fan Fests in Russia, which were set up for all soccer fans with tickets to watch the matches together in an atmosphere of euphoria and celebration.

Then, the total attendance counted in the stadiums was an average of 47 thousand spectators for each of the 64 matches of the 2018 World Cup. Added together, the total is 3 million stadium attendees. Some reports indicate that the number of tourists visiting Russia was close to 5 million people; of them, 2 million were foreigners. 

How much attendance is expected for Qatar 2022?

According to several reports, there will be 3 million tickets available for the upcoming FIFA World Cup: 2 million open to be purchased by fans, and 1 more million left reserved for FIFA's partners. This is way more than the 1.5 million attendees that Qatar 2022 organizers stated were expected.

After the ending of the official ticket sales phase 1, FIFA stated that 804,186 tickets have been allocated. There will be two more sales phases in which the rest of the available entrances will be contested by millions of fans around the world. To contextualize, during the first ticket sales phase, FIFA received more than 17 million ticket applications.