nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2023‒01‒30
two papers chosen by
Humberto Barreto
DePauw University

  1. Sports competitions and the Break-Even rule By Carmen Herrero; Antonio Villar
  2. Qatar World Cup 2022: making stadiums profitable investments by transforming them into food production farms By Moustafa, Khaled

  1. By: Carmen Herrero (FAE, Universidad de Alicante;); Antonio Villar (Universidad Pablo de Olavide)
    Abstract: Sports competitions represent an interesting family of evaluation problems involving pairwise comparisons. In this context, the alternatives are contending teams and the comparison is made in terms of outcomes. Different evaluation protocols, aimed at getting more robust estimates of the teams’ worth or better predictions of their future achievements, have been proposed in the literature. We present here a protocol that makes the evaluation of a team directly proportional to the sum of the points accrued along with the competition, weighted by the worth of the competitors (its strength) and inversely proportional to the total points lost (its handicap). We call this new evaluation protocol the break-even rule and show that it is well-defined and easy to compute.
    Keywords: sports competitions; break-even rule; teams’ performance; strength; handicap; Premier League.
    JEL: C65 L83
    Date: 2022
  2. By: Moustafa, Khaled (Founder & Editor of ArabiXiv)
    Abstract: The FIFA World Cup 2022, organized in Qatar from 20 November 2022 to 18 December 2022, is the most controversial sporting event since its inception in 1930. When Qatar was selected in 2010 to host the competition, it was lacking the infrastructure necessary for the tournament. To build stadiums, hotels, accommodations, subways, highways, tourist attractions, etc., Qatar spent up to $229 billion , making it more expensive than all its previous editions altogether. Upon selection, Qatar was, and still, severely criticized rightly or excessively on a number of questions related to environment, human rights and work conditions. Historically, Qatar is not a nation of football or sport more generally. Once the game is over, the stadiums will most likely have no or little uses. A dereliction of stadiums will mean that huge investments would have been wasted fruitlessly. Seven of the eight stadiums built for the occasion will be dismantled and the construction materials will be donated to other countries†. Hotels, shopping centers, cafés, schools and sporting accommodations are expected to build in place. To recalibrate the investments in more Qatar-environmentally adapted and economically viable investments than cement buildings, particularly under arid conditions and lack of natural resources, as is the case in Qatar, I’d suggest to transform the stadiums into research centers, universities or better into plant and/or animal farms such as crop or vegetable greenhouses, poultry, fishery, cow or camel farms. Plant or animal farms of such kinds will help produce food products that Qatar needs and imports mostly from abroad. Some stadiums can be adapted to produce fodder and others to produce animal products, taking advantage of the already existing air-conditioning to reduce the impacts of high temperature on plants and animals. A mix of fodder production and animal breeding stations can also be set up in the same stadium (same farm), depending on the size and species of crops and animals to breed. Seven stadiums transformed into seven large crop greenhouses and/or animal farms to produce thousands of tons of food products would undoubtedly be more economically viable than to erect cement constructions which, in turn, will entail increased needs of food resources that Qatar lacks basically. By transforming large stadiums into food production farms, Qatar can auto-satisfy of some food products locally, and save money spent on food importation from the overseas while reducing environmental impacts of food importation from long distances. The stadium-farms can be irrigated with seawater and solar energy as previously suggested [1] [2] or using traditional greenhouses irrigation systems.
    Date: 2022–12–17

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