Travel and the World Cup
Over the course of the World Cup, 3.7 million people are expected to travel to Brazil, and the average traveler will spend about $2,500 on hotels, match tickets, and other travel expenses. Fans snapped up almost three million match tickets to watch 31 countries compete in 12 cities across Brazil over the course of a month.
But back in 1930, for the very first FIFA World Cup, travel– and soccer– were very different than they are today. Only 13 nations sent teams; many European teams refused to go because of how hard it was to travel to South America. While today’s World Cup has an airline sponsor, players and fans had to be a bit more resourceful to make their way to the host city.
Several teams sailed to Uruguay together on the SS Conte Verde. The Romanians embarked at Genoa, the French at Villefrance-sur-mer, and the Belgians at Barcelona. Below decks, the teams kept up with their training on the 15-day Atlantic crossing. They picked up the Brazilian team in Rio de Janiero. The Conte Verde also provided passage for the World Cup trophy and three referees across the Atlantic!