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January 8, 2021

Bidders sought for 2025 World Athletics Champs and 2023 events

World Athletics has today launched the bidding process for three global events in the coming years, including its showpiece World Championships in 2025.

By Simon Ward

World Athletics has today launched the bidding process for three global events in the coming years, including its showpiece World Championships in 2025.

The two other competitions on offer are the new World Athletics Road Running Championships in 2023 and the World Athletics Relays in the same year.

Bid guides for all three World Athletics Series events are available to download at https://www.worldathletics.org/about-iaaf/documents/member-federation-resource-centre#headingbidding and interested parties are requested to return the pre-qualification form.

For the 2025 World Athletics Championships there is an initial deadline of 1 March for pre-qualification and verification, with completed bids to be submitted by 1 September, and the host to be decided by the World Athletics Council in December.

The World Athletics Championships are the biggest track and field event outside the Olympic Games, and claim to be the third-largest sporting event in the world, with more than 2,000 athletes from over 200 countries competing in 49 disciplines.

The championships normally take place every other year, but there will be three editions over four years after the 2021 edition in Eugene, Oregon in USA was put back to 2022, the result of the one-year delay to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and the 2023 edition in the Hungarian capital Budapest.

In encouraging cities to submit bids for its forthcoming events, World Athletics asserts benefits for the local economy, sport tourism, the promotion of active lifestyles, inspiring youth and use of existing infrastructure.

Sebastian Coe, the president of the federation, said: “By partnering with World Athletics, a host city takes on a global spotlight, driving the elite profile athletics both locally and internationally, and encouraging more active communities through legacy programmes that we can help our host cities to develop.”

The relevant bid guide notes that the 2017 World Athletics Championships in London had direct economic impact of $104.1 million, comprising $75 million in spectator spend, $19.6 million in event attendee spend and $13.9 million in event organiser spend, offset by ‘direct leakages’ of $4.4 billion.

It points out that, for the 2025 event, the local organising committee will keep 100 per cent of revenue from public ticket sales, official programme sales, rent from sold exhibition area spaces and food and beverage sales.

In addition, subject to a category release agreements being reached with Dentsu, the Japanese agency that is the commercial partner of World Athletics, the city also keeps hospitality and merchandise sales.

The event budget for the World Athletics Championships is estimated at $70 million to $80 million, with logistics accounting for a third of the total, but this will vary according to local costs and conditions, and World Athletics will schedule virtual meetings with the bidding cities to discuss the breakdown.

The sporting and infrastructure requirements for the event include a main stadium with at least 30,000 seats, a warm-up facility, technical functional areas and rooms within the stadium and organisation of a test event to be held between one year and four months before the event.

The biennial World Athletics Road Running Championships have been launched as a week-long festival of road running, and will encompass the existing World Athletics Half Marathon Championships and new 5-kilometre races, for both men and women.

The bid guide cites direct economic impact of $6.1 million for the 2018 Half Marathon Championships in Valencia, Spain, and the indicative budget for the expanded event in 2023 is $2 million to $2.5 million.

The World Athletics Relays has been held since 2014, and also take place biennially.

They feature men’s, women’s and mixed team races in 4×100 metres, 4×200 metres and 4×400 metres discplines.

The most recent edition, in Yokohama, Japan, in 2019, had a direct economic impact of $5.9 million, and the indicative event budget for 2023 is $3.5 million to $4 million.

For both the Road Running and Relays championships there is a prequalification and verification deadline of 1 February, with completed bids due by 1 June and the events to be awarded in July.

The World Athletics calendar and finances have been significantly impacted by the pandemic, and the World Indoor Championships in Nanjing, China, already pushed back by a year to 2021, have now been delayed to 2023, after the 2022 edition in the Serbian capital Belgrade.

However, the governing body is hopeful of a full schedule of elite Indoor Tour and Diamond League meetings, in addition to the Olympics, in 2021, and anticipates a festival of track and field next year when the World Athletics Championships in Eugene will take place together with the multi-sport European Championships in Munich, Germany and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.

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