USA's Phyllis Francis in the 4x200m at the IAAF/BTC World Relays Bahamas 2017 (Getty Images)

World Athletics Relays

About the event

The Bahamas was the first country to ever host the IAAF World Relays. The inaugural IAAF World Relays, which took place between 24-25 May in the Bahamian capital of Nassau, was held before an estimated two-day crowd of 34,000 spectators in the newly built Thomas A Robinson National Stadium, making it the biggest and most important global sporting event ever held in The Bahamas under the aegis of the IAAF.

470 world-class elite athletes from 41 member federations competed in the sprint and middle-distance relay events showcasing the medalists from the London 2012 Games and the 2013 IAAF World Championships.

IAAF Council has approved the World Relays event to be staged every odd year, generally in May.

History of host cities

2017 Nassau, The Bahamas
2015 Nassau, The Bahamas
2014 Nassau, The Bahamas

Last event organised

IAAF/BTC World Relays Bahamas 2017


Next event open for bid

World Athletics Relays 2023 – Express your interest here  

Candidature process

Date of award 21/11/20
Consultation with the selected area and relevant MFs, to find potential host countries through M-Circular and Expression of Interest  
Deadline for Expressions of Interests received 15/03/20
Application Form, Budget, EOA, Risk Assessment and Guidelines sent to Bidding Cities 01/04/20
Calls between the IAAF and the bidding cities to clarify the documents, get update on process and highlight any issues April to June 2020 
Deadline for submission of draft application 01/07/20
Initial Assessment sent to Bidding Cities 01/08/20 
Calls between the IAAF and the bidding cities to clarify the documents received and answer questions Aug 2020
Bid Evaluation Panel Site Visit  
Final application form sent back with signed EOA, CRA, Budget, Risk Assessment 01/10/20
Final assessment provided to IAAF Council 15/10/20
Bid Candidates present to the IAAF Council and Host City appointed 21/11/20


Host city requirements

• Minimum 10,000 seat stadium with Class 1 World Athletics Facility Certificate and eight-lane track

• All technical and functional areas, including call room(s), mixed zone, post event area, photo-finish control room, video recording room, results management room, doping control station, technical information centre, rest area for combined events athletes, and seats for coaches and teams

• Warm-up facility with a 400m track – minimum 6 lanes

• One training venue (could also be the warm-up)

• Installation of event venue decoration, at least two state-of-the-art video screens and quality sound system at the main stadium

• Ensuring the main stadium is equipped with reliable and modern communication network, infrastructure and services

• Ensuring the venue is provided commercially clean

• Taking all available measures to minimise ambush marketing in association with the event

• First-class event presentation, including the services of the World Athletics Event Presentation Team

• Securing rooms for athletes, officials, World Athletics Family and media:

• Athletes and team officials: 1400 beds (300 single & 550 twin/double rooms);

• IAAF Family: 250 beds (150 single & 50 twin/double rooms);

• Media: 25 beds;

• Technical suppliers;

• Accreditation staff.

• Payment of the full board accommodation, in a twin room for 2 athletes per team participating, plus an additional 2 athletes for each team finishing in the top 4 for up to a maximum of 4 nights

• Charge max US$120 charge per person per night for full board accommodation in a twin room for any non-quota athletes and all officials (max 4 nights)

• Full board accommodation for all World Athletics Competition Delegates (maximum 15 people) and Accreditation Staff

• Charge max US$120 charge per person per night for members of the World Athletics Family

• Negotiate a corporate rate with official hotels to be charged to additional World Athletics Family members

• Providing team meeting rooms

• Local transportation system for the event between hotels, venues, city centre, airports, main train stations and event- related social functions

• Payment of Economy travel for two athletes per team participating plus an additional two athletes for each team finishing in the top four

• Payment of Economy travel for World Athletics competition delegates (max 15) attending the event and preliminary site visits

• Ensuring that internal systems are compatible with the system of World Athletics’s appointed ticketing provider

• Providing seats and hospitality boxes where available free of charge to World Athletics , Dentsu, commercial affiliates and broadcasters

• Providing seats free of charge to athletes and officials (min 400)

• The host will use World Athletics’s accreditation system for the event for a fixed fee of US$30.000 to be paid to the IAAF

• Volunteers to staff the accreditation centre(s)

• Creation of all official event logos, mascot, poster and ‘event look’, in association with World Athletics and Dentsu

• Registration of event marks for the protection of intellectual property

• Payment for the host broadcaster (to be appointed by the IAAF) to broadcast the entire event capped at US$350.000

• Provision of all broadcast and media facilities, equipment and services, including media and press centres, telecommunication and other communication facilities, accommodation and transportation, press conference facilities (including simultaneous translation) and accreditation services

• Temporary event offices and storage facilities for World Athletics, Dentsu and commercial affiliates in the venue and official hotels

• Provision of free internet connection to the World Athletics Family

• Assistance to World Athletics and Dentsu with the recruitment of local staff and volunteers where required

• Providing hospitality areas to the World Athletics Family

• Providing space at the event site for Dentsu and commercial affiliates to exercise their franchising, display, demonstration and selling rights

• Providing sufficient and adequate space for Dentsu and commercial affiliates to set up their own hospitality programmes

• Payment of the prize money (USD140.000 per event) and of any related taxes to the top eight (8) teams in each event (currently 9 events)


• Development and implementation of a security plan including security personnel to protect and safeguard the event site and security and protection for members of the World Athletics Family

• Medical and doping control services for the event, including approximately 50 urine tests and approximately 20 EPO or other additional special analysis (e.g. IRMS)

• Medical support for all accreditation holders for all incidents occurring during their stay in the host country


The following are the minimum requirements requested by World Athletics for the Doping Control Station but must be adapted to the anticipated number of doping tests to be conducted:

• An experienced Doping Control Staff including:
 o Experienced, authorised doping control officers;
 o Assistants to witness the urine collection; and
 o An appropriate number of escorts for the athletes’ notification.

• Facilities and materials:
 o A waiting room with adequate seating (15-20 people), a variety of refrigerated sealed drinks and, if possible, TV screens;
 o A working room equipped with the necessary furniture for four people attending the sampling procedure;
 o WCs adjoining the working room, at least two toilets (male and female);
 o Sampling material approved by the World Athletics Medical and Anti-Doping Commission and World Athletics Doping Control and Notification Forms;
 o Transportation for the athletes back to the hotel at the end of the control; and
 o Provision of facilities for blood testing at the athletes’ hotel(s) accommodation location before the competition

• All social functions, opening and closing ceremonies, official receptions, and other official functions and programmes

• The government of the host country must sign a declaration committing their support for hosting the World Indoor Championships. This includes financial, visa, work permit, customs, and security commitments.

• Payment of all taxes, duties or other governmental levies imposed on World Athletics, Dentsu or commercial affiliates, including for the importation of products and equipment into the host country, airport taxes for accreditation holders, local taxes on tickets, and advertising in connection with the event

• Payment of any taxes that the host country’s government may levy on any prize money

• Ensuring that the World Athletics Family obtain all necessary public authorisations, such as work permits, visas and customs clearances

• Promotion and marketing of the event in coordination with World Athletics and Dentsu, and producing and implementing a promotion and communication plan in relation to the event, including city dressing, venue dressing, media, communications, and digital strategy

• Obtaining the necessary insurance policies for the event, including cancellation, public liability, comprehensive business insurance, and any other necessary insurances, with such policy limits as approved by World Athletics

• Provision of regular progress reports toWorld Athletics and Dentsu

• Maintaining accurate and complete books of account in relation to all financial transactions, and provision of a final financial report post-event


Bidding summary

Frequency Duration Athletes/ officials Bidding Timelines Candidatures
Open Deadline Decision
Every 2 years 2 days 1000 3 years prior 2.5 years prior 2.5 years prior

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.