Usain Bolt at the IAAF World Athletics Championships Moscow 2013 (Getty Images)

World Athletics Championships

About the event

The World Championships is the jewel in the crown of the World Athletics’s global competition programme. It is the third largest sporting event in the world, involving athletes from up to 212 nations competing for 47 gold medals, and watched by billions of TV viewers worldwide. The first World Championships in athletics was held in Helsinki in 1983. Today, the competition is generally staged in August, every odd year.

Last event organised

IAAF World Championships London 2017

Five years after the 2012 Olympic Games, athletics returned to the British capital for one of the most successful editions of the IAAF World Championships, attracting 900,000 spectators to the same east London venue during a 10-day slate of sold-out sessions.

The championships saw several established stars – Mo Farah, Wayde van Neikerk and Sally Pearson, among others – winning gold medals, but also witnessed the rise of young stars such as 400m hurdles champion Karsten Warholm of Norway, sprinter Christian Coleman of the US and Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela. Across nearly the entire programme, the competition was perhaps the most fiercely competitive and unpredictable of any World Championships. More than 2000 athletes competed.

Outside of the stadium, several hundred thousand spectators lined the courses for the marathon and race walk events, festive carnivals and celebrations in their own right. In financial terms, the IAAF World Championships London 2017 generated a direct economic impact of £88.8m (US$116m) and a potential total economic impact of £177.6m (US$232m) in London.

Economic Impact Study - IAAF World Championships London 2017

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World Athletics Championships 2025 – Express your interest here  

Host city requirements

The following general requirements could be considered as necessary for the successful hosting of the event:

• Minimum 1,000,000 population

• Minimum 30,000-seat stadium

◦ Category 1 stadium certificate

◦ Eight-lane synthetic track

◦ Warm-up facilities including standard 400 metre track with at least six lanes and separate area for long throws

◦ In-stadium hospitality and facilities, including catering for approximately 1800 people in the official stand

• Three training venues

• At least 3000 beds in 4-star hotels

◦ Village-style accommodation (preferred)

• International airport within city

• A minimum budget of at least US$40m

Summary of financial obligations

The Local Organising Committee (LOC) is responsible for overall management of the event budget.

The following are the main financial obligations of the organising committee:

• Pay prize money for the World Athletics Championships (total amount USD 7.194 million);

• Pay travel and full-board accommodation costs for the quota athletes (approximately 2,000) for a maximum of 13 nights in a 4* hotel;

• Charge not more than USD 100, per person per night, for full-board accommodation in twin rooms for additional athletes and team officials for a maximum of 13 nights;

• Pay travel and full-board accommodation costs for the World Athletics Competition Delegates (approximately 55 people) and in addition travel and full-board accommodation costs of the required site visits;

• Pay travel and full-board accommodation costs for one Congress Delegate per member federation for a maximum of 15 nights (approximately 212 people);

• Charge not more than USD 100 for bed & breakfast accommodation in single rooms for members of the IAAF Family accommodated in a 4* or 5* hotel;

• Pay any related cost for national competition officials;

• Pay full-board accommodation costs for the staff of the technology partner providing timing / chip timing services, a minimum of 58 people for a minimum of 18 nights and for 2 site visits by 2 people;

• Pay full-board accommodation costs for the staff of the technology partner providing results and information services, a minimum of 37 people for a minimum of 22 nights and 2 site visits by 2 people;

• Provide free of charge networking and internet connection following specifications of World Athletics and its technology partners;

• Pay at least 50% of the costs of these services provided by a company appointed by World Athletics (in the event World Athletics does not have a technology partner for the timing and/or results services);

• Pay for the provision of up to 800 Commentator Information System (CIS) terminals;

• Pay accommodation costs for the competition staff of Mondo, a minimum of 4 people for 15 nights;

• Provide free-of-charge World Athletics and Dentsu with equipped offices, including fast and secure internet connection in their respective hotels and in the stadium;

• Pay the costs of a first-class event presentation including the services of the IAAF event presentation team;

• Provide free-of-charge World Athletics and Dentsu with an agreed number of VVIP and VIP tickets in the main tribune, adequate hospitality for such ticket holders and an agreed number of parking passes;

• Pay USD 50,000 towards the development costs of the accreditation system and the full-board accommodation costs for the accreditation company team (approximately 10 people for approximately of 28 nights) as well as a contribution towards the cards (i.e., USD 2.50 per card issued). Cover any expenses for the shipped accreditation equipment to clear customs and contribute to a maximum of USD 1500. Cover 50% of the travel expenses of the accreditation company staff if the event is taking place outside of Europe. In addition, pay travel and full-board accommodation costs of the required site visits. Special requests from the LOC to the accreditation company will also be at the LOC’s expense;

• Pay the organisational costs of the World Athletics Congress, including the provision of:

◦ the congress centre;

◦ the technical equipment (including facilities for simultaneous translation in six languages TV production, secure networking for offices and the voting system);

◦ the office equipment;

◦ the opening ceremony and official dinner;

• Pay the organisation costs for 2 Council Meetings during the time of the championships and one before – including the provision of:

◦ the council meeting room(s);

◦ the technical equipment (including facilities for simultaneous translation in three languages, networking);

◦ the office equipment;

◦ the official dinner;

• Pay the costs of the advertising boards, advertising material and related services for the national sponsors and 50% of the cost of the gantries for the non-stadia events;

• Pay for the painting of a blue line on the course of the non-stadia events, showing the shortest possible route;

• Pay the creation and registration of trademarks or brands as requested by World Athletics / Dentsu;

• Provide a free, live TV broadcast signal (as per specifications defined by World Athletics) via a host broadcaster (non-rights holder in home country) to be proposed by the LOC;

• Provide free of charge working facilities including internet connection for TV commentators and media;

• Pay any tax that the host country’s government may levy on any prize money earned by the athletes;

• Pay any and all taxes in connection with the importation, exportation, transportation, installation and customs clearance of any VIK, premiums and promotional gift items of the commercial affiliates;

• Pay the costs for doping control organisation and implementation, including blood testing pre-competition (number of samples as requested by World Athletics) and approximately 500 competition urine tests and 150 EPO or other additional special analyses (e.g., IRMS) as requested by World Athletics;

• Provide appropriate medical organisation (health care and sports medicine services), as per World Athletics competition medical guidelines accessible on World Athletics website;

• Pay for insurance policies as required by World Athletics, inclusive of operational activities of Dentsu and World Athletics commercial partners;

• Pay for the production of the bibs in case the LOC is granted the rights to commercialise the bibs.

This information is intended to provide future organisers with general guidelines on the main requirements for the organisation of the event and is subject to change.