Three cities look set to battle it out for the right to host the 2020 ITTF World Team Table Tennis Championships. Ekaterinburg (Russia), Busan (Korea Republic) and San Jose (USA) have all raised their hand and hope to bring the world’s biggest table tennis event to their city.
The bid from San Jose means that the USA is in the running to host only the second ITTF World Championships to be held outside of Asia and Europe. The first and only time that happened was in 1939 when Cairo, Egypt were hosts. It’s positive signs for the global rise of table tennis, especially in North America, having successfully hosted the last two editions of the ITTF Women’s World Cup.
“The World Table Tennis Championships is the world’s biggest table tennis stage, and the ITTF’s most important event of the year, that brings great opportunity for city promotion and tourism boost for the host city.” Steve Dainton, ITTF CEO
The numbers don’t lie. The Liebherr 2017 World Table Tennis Championships, which was held in Düsseldorf, Germany, was followed by over 355.6 million people worldwide, and smashed social media and viewership records.
“Having three cities showing strong interest is a clear sign that the new ITTF management’s hard work is paying off and is well supported around the world. We have been promoting the benefits of hosting the world’s biggest table tennis event more strongly, as well as looking at how to make the event more successful to ensure its long future. ” Thomas Weikert, ITTF President
The three interested cities will have to submit their detailed bids and commitment to bid, which the ITTF Selection panel will analyse and conduct inspections in the bid phase which closes on 1 February 2018. The ITTF Executive Committee will then decide on the final shortlist by 15th February.
The shortlisted bidders will be invited to present their final bid for voting at the ITTF Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Halmstad, Sweden, where a final decision on the host will be made.