In Spain, before and during the World Youth Day gathering in Madrid, the secularist critics and enemies of God and His Church and – by most accounts- good taste, claimed that the cost of WYD was extravagant and wasteful and profligate and unfair and … *sputter sputter froth*… just… well… you big Pope poopy-head!
The criticism of the cost of WYD was dopey, but handy. When we review Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, we recall that making sense isn’t part of the liberal plan.
Keeping in mind that much of the cost of WYD was defrayed by Church groups, this is from CatholicVote:
Furthermore, the two million pilgrims spent a great deal of their own money while in Spain. The head of Madrid’s chamber of commerce estimates that World Youth Day events brought at least 160 million euros (=230 million dollars) into the Spanish economy:
Pilgrims traveling to Madrid spent roughly that sum on transportation, food, lodging, recreation, and souvenirs, said Arturo Fernandez. His report counters complaints that World Youth Day put extra burdens on Spain’s depressed economy.
One civic association in Madrid reported selling 3 million meal tickets to WYD pilgrims, at a profit of €22.5 million ($32 million) for those transactions alone.
Frankly I think that estimate is still low — if the average pilgrim spent $300 while in Spain (that’s getting by pretty cheap) the total windfall to the Spanish economy would be over $600 million.
Plus, nearly all the reports I’ve read which comment on the question note that the pilgrims were particularly neat and tidy. Soccer hooligans trash cities, pilgrims respect them.