Jaws dropped when FIFA awarded the tournament to the tiny Arab nation because the temperature there in the summer is 107 degrees F (about 42 degrees C). That's far too hot for 90 minutes of football, even for spectators. So far, the organizers have promised to install air conditioning systems to keep venues cool. And the proposed stadium designs all feature elaborate shading for the crowd.
But Qatar University is designing a large, flat blimp that can be programmed to track the sun as it moves across the sky, shielding the pitch from the sun's rays. The clouds could take about 10 degrees F (6 degrees C) off the temperature.
Given America's long history of blimp advertising, it seems obvious that the cloud would be an highly desirable place to put a logo. The device will attract its own media attention because of its novelty, and have a built-in global TV audience for every game shown. Best of all, from the Qataris point of view, the cloud ought to turn a profit easily. Qatar University officials estimate each one will cost just $500,000 to build.