2018 FIFA World Cup: Americans Visit Russia

Our objective was to identify where Americans who attend 2018 FIFA World Cup games in Russia travel from in order to provide a glimpse into the reach football has across the United States during the international tournament. With only four games left to go in the tournament, we analyzed visitation patterns for every game through the Quarter Finals.

Game attendance was identified by comparing mobile location signals of devices observed within stadiums during game times to the our global supply of mobile location data, and, if from the United States, noting the likely state of origin of those devices.

In order to determine whether or not a device was at a stadium during a game, we first utilized precise retail boundaries to accurately identify if/when a visit occurred in the 12 FIFA World Cup stadiums in Russia. Our system then logged visits observed at the stadiums during game time, compared that to over 4.5 years of historical device data, and compiled an aggregated list of the likely origins of those anonymous devices.  

U.S. States with High Percentages of Hispanics and Latinos Lead American Attendance

The top likely U.S. states of origin for the 2018 FIFA World Cup games

  1. Florida – 23.92%
  2. California – 20.29%
  3. New York – 10.60%
  4. Texas – 10.18%
  5. New Jersey – 3.33%

The majority of American game attendees were likely from Florida, California, New York, Texas, and New Jersey. When compared to the percentage each state makes up of the national population, we found a significant increase visitation from Florida and California, suggesting their ranking is based less on sheer volume of residents and more on overall density of FIFA World Cup fans.   

Source: ubermedia.com

Particularly interesting was the relationship Florida and California attendees had to specific teams. We found that of all the Americans that attended Colombia games, 45.45% of them were from Florida, which has the highest U.S. ranking of residents with Colombian origin(3). Additionally, the majority of American attendees to Mexico games were from California (31.23%), which has the largest Mexican population in the United States(4).

Americans Attend More Games When Colombia or Mexico Plays

The top teams playing in 2018 FIFA World Cup games attended by Americans

  1. Colombia – 8.66%
  2. Mexico – 8.63%
  3. France – 4.85%
  4. Sweden 4.75%
  5. Brazil – 4.69%

Source: ubermedia.com


Source: ubermedia.com

Moscow Attracts More Americans Than Other Host Cities

Americans were more than twice as likely to be observed in stadiums in Moscow than at the other World Cup venues. While Moscow did host more games than the other cities, we found that the proportion of Americans attending games in Moscow vs the total tournament attendance was much larger than the other host cities. The largest city in Russia, Moscow has countless tourism offerings that could be taken into consideration when planning a trip to Russia. Specific to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Moscow is fairly central to the rest of the host cities (2 hours by air and 3 to 5 hours by train(5)).

Source: ubermedia.com

Making Mobile Data Actionable

UberMedia is the leading provider of high quality mobile location data from anonymous and opted-in devices. Contextualized data and pre-processed insight datasets are available through an easy to use API.

With data from over one billion devices around the globe, UberMedia can provide high quality mobile data and analysis covering any use case while conforming to strict privacy standards.


  1. https://www.statista.com/statistics/872310/world-cup-fans-region/
  2. https://www.fifa.com/worldcup/news/2018-fifa-world-cup-more-than-2-4-million-tickets-allocated-additional-inventory
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hispanics_and_Latinos_in_Florida
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_California
  5. https://www.roadtrips.com/world-cup/2018-world-cup-packages/venues/

All statistics present in this report include all 2018 FIFA World Cup games that occurred on or before July 7, 2018. This report does not include the Semi-Finals or Final game.


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