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How many soccer stadiums are there in country X?

Market sizing soccer
New answer on Jan 22, 2020
4 Answers
1.3 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Jan 05, 2020

Hi, a friend of mine was asked this question in her case interview and I can not structure this problem. It would be really appreciated if you could share your thoughts on this!

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Content Creator
replied on Jan 22, 2020
Top rated Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience

There are multiple approaches to this problem. Note that this is largly relevant in countries where football is extremely popular. The same approach will not work in countries where football is not the primary sport.

One hack that I like is as follows - let's take UK as an example

Start with the total population - ~60M

Assume ~50M live in rural areas (consistent with most estimates but anything 80% and above works). This is important as football stadiums are almost always in urban areas

Now for a football stadium to be feasible, there needs to a certain base population to generate revenue as most stadiums have at least 10,000 seats going up to 100,000 for large ones. Assume that there is one football stadium for every 200,000 people (this assumes 5% of the population can fill up the stadium).

At the above rate there should be ~250 stadiums in the UK - which is close to the number Wikipedia has.

You can always play around with the assumptions to get to an answer that makes sense

Hope this helps,


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Content Creator
replied on Jan 06, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


First of all, I would clarify if we are talking about big/olimpic stadiums (e.g., Allianz in Munich or Bernabeu in Madrid, so the ones of big soccer teams) or total numer of them (including the ones from schools, etc.). This changes the whole story.

For the 1st scenario, I would think how many 1st league clubs you get in your country and divide it into the total population, so you can have a ratio to be applied.

For the 2nd one, more complex, I would make some buckets (e.g., 1. big stadiums for 1st league clubs, 2, medium stadiums for non-professional clubs, 3. schools and municipal, etc.) and repeat a similar approach for each of them. Like this you break the problem into "solvable" little pieces.

Hope it helps!



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Content Creator
replied on Jan 05, 2020
BCG |NASA | SDA Bocconi & Cattolica partner | GMAT expert 780/800 score | 200+ students coached

Hello there,

I would follow the bottom-up approach proposed by Antonello. By the way, generally speaking, we can assume that there is one stadium per city (on average, considering that big cities have more than ones but there are also small cities without a stadium).

Therefore it would be good to do a sanity check of the result dividing the population of country X by the average population per city. In this way we obtain the total number of cities that should be really similar to the number of soccer stadiums.

Hope it helps,

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Content Creator
replied on Jan 05, 2020
McKinsey | NASA | top 10 FT MBA professor for consulting interviews | 6+ years of coaching

you could perform a bottom-up analysis based on your home town and male a proportion with the country X population. You can then adjust it with some considerations with soccer culture in your town and in country X.


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