Portland to challenge Birmingham in hosting 2016 World Indoor Champs

Portland in Oregon, the training base of Mo Farah, has reportedly submitted a rival bid to host the event in March 2016

Posted on October 18, 2013 by
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NIA Birmingham (Mark Shearman)

Birmingham faces competition in its bid to host the World Indoor Championships in 2016 with the news that Portland in Oregon, USA, has also submitted a formal application.

As reported by The Telegraph on Thursday, only Birmingham made a bid to host the 2016 edition of the two-yearly championships by the original deadline of September 15 set by the International Association of Athletics Federations, but USA Track and Field were given extra time by the world governing body to allow a rival bid to be submitted for the American city.

To decide where the event will be held, a vote will be made by members of the IAAF’s ruling council following presentations on November 15.

The joint bid from Birmingham City Council and UKA would see a renovated National Indoor Arena stage the event for the first time since 2003, with the council set to underwrite the £2.5million cost.

If Birmingham succeed in their bid, it would represent another in a long line of major athletics events taking place in Britain after the 2012 London Olympics, with the 2017 IAAF World Championships and IPC World Championships taking place at the Olympic Stadium and next year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Cardiff has also submitted a bid to host the World Half Marathon Championships in 2016.

In comparison, the World Indoor Champs have only been held in America once before, in Indianapolis in 1987. Oregon hosts one of the stops on the IAAF Diamond League circuit, the Prefontaine Classic held in Eugene, while double Olympic and world champion Mo Farah trains in Portland with the Nike Oregon Project.

The 2014 edition of the event is to take place in Sopot, Poland.

A major revamp of the NIA began earlier this year and is due for completion by winter 2014. The massive overhaul of the venue (pictured above), which also hosted the 2007 edition of the European Athletics Indoor Championships, will not affect the staging of the annual British Athletics Grand Prix, taking place next February.

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