After Greensboro withdrew their bid to host either the 2025 or 2027 World Championships, it raised the question: what are the requirements of the host city for such a large-scale event?
Looking at the last six hosts, they have used anywhere between two to five different pools for competition use, between swimming, diving, water polo, and artistic (formerly synchronized) swimming, along with additional outdoor venues for open water swimming and high diving.
The main pool used for the swimming competition has seated anywhere between 12,500 and 18,000 people. Take a look at some of the data below:
|Year||Host City||Number of Pools Used||Swimming Pool||Swimming Capacity||Diving Capacity||Water Polo Capacity||Artistic Capacity|
It is fairly common for the main pool to be temporary, usually placed in a stadium that’s normally used for other sports. Even in the cases where the pool used for the swimming competition is permanent, temporary locations are usually necessary to fulfil the requirements of all the different sports.
For the upcoming championships in Gwangju this summer, the swimming and diving competitions will take place at the Main Aquatics Centre (built for the 2015 World University Games), and water polo and artistic swimming will have their own temporary outdoor venues nearby.
What would it take for an American city to host the championships? First, they’ll need the main pool to have a seating capacity somewhere in the 12,000 range (at minimum).
Indianapolis, which hosted the 2017 World Junior Championships (Indiana University Natatorium), seats 4,700, which makes it the largest permanent swimming facility in the country but still falls well short of what a Worlds would require. The Greensboro Aquatic Center, for example, only seats 2,500.
The most likely scenario would be a temporary pool in an arena, similar to what they do every four years at the Olympic Trials, but the cost of that becomes a major factor. They would also need at least one, probably two or three, additional venues.
With Greensboro dropping out it will now be at least ten years before the World Championships take place on American soil. After Gwangju this summer they will return to Fukuoka, Japan in 2021 (where they were in 2001), and then move to Doha, Qatar in 2023 (host of the 2014 SC Worlds).
Budapest and Kazan are two of the cities who remain in the running for 2025 or 2027, along with Belgrade, Kiev, and a city to be confirmed in China.