The organizing committee that was behind the bid by Greensboro, North Carolina to host either the 2025 or 2027 FINA World Championships & FINA World Masters Championships has withdrawn its bid. The decision came after the organization attended the FINA Bid Information Meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland in January of this year.
This leaves 5 cities currently in the bidding for the event:
- Belgrade, Serbia
- Budapest, Hungary
- Kazan, Russia
- Kiev, Ukraine
The group said in a statement that they were encouraged by USA Swimming to start by hosting a smaller meet rather than jumping right in to the World Championships.
“Encouraged by USA Swimming, our largest aquatics sport governing body in the U.S., we are going to take a walk-before-you-run approach to international aquatics championships,” said Hill Carrow, Chairman of the Greensboro USA Bid Committee. “Instead of jumping into competitive international aquatics events head-first with the largest aquatics competition on the planet, we intend instead to start out with more modest-sized international events and work our way up. Some of the events we are now considering include FINA World Cup, FINA World Junior Championships, FINA Champions Swim Series, and UANA (Pan American) Masters Swimming Championships, among others.”
The Greensboro Coliseum likely would have been the target to convert into a temporary pool to host the event, as the Greensboro Aquatic Center itself is much smaller than the venues typically used to host the swimming portion of the championships. The GAC, however, could have been used to host training and other portions of the event.
“It is certainly disappointing,” said bid chairman Hill Carrow, “as a significant amount of time and effort has gone into the United States bid. The fact that the event has never been held in our country presented a unique opportunity, and if ever the time was right to bring this event to the U.S. it would be during the run-up to the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 2028. The Worlds are not an inexpensive event, but during the next nine years there is going to be more money flowing into Olympic Sports in our country than any time in history – as evidenced by Nike’s reported commitment of an estimated $200 million to become the first domestic sponsor of the LA Games!”
Even in withdrawal, the bid touted the Greensboro Coliseum Complex for its ability to host every part of the event, aside from open water, including the athlete village and headquarters hotel, in the same complex. The complex also lauded its new relationships with FINA staff built through the process. They credit those relationships with allowing Greensboro to host the FINA Artistic Swimming (Synchronized Swimming) World Series next month from May 24th-26th.
The USA, which has won more World Championship medals across all disciplines than any other country by almost double, has still never hosted the event. They did host the World Short Course Swimming Championships, a much smaller event by scale, in Indianapolis in 2004. Based on the 5 remaining hosts, 2025 and 2027 will make for 7 consecutive championships hosted in either Eastern Europe or Asia.
Recent and upcoming hosts:
- 2015 – Kazan, Russia
- 2017 – Budapest, Hungary
- 2019 – Gwangju, South Korea
- 2021 – Fukuoka, Japan
- 2023 – Doha, Qatar
- 2025 – TBD
- 2027 – TBD