Berlin (dpa) – The German cities Berlin and Hamburg are considering bids to host the world swimming championships in 2017 after Guadalajara, Mexico, gave up the rights to the event on Wednesday.
“We should look at whether there is a realistic chance,” Berlin’s councillor for sport Frank Henkel said Thursday. “We need to explore in the council and with the (German Swimming Association) DSV to see if it is feasible.”
The interest of Berlin and Hamburg in hosting the championships adds another layer of intrigue to the current battle between the cities to be the German nominee to host the 2024 summer Olympic Games.
Next month the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) will decide which city is put forward.
Guadalajara won the right to host the 2017 swimming worlds back in 2011, at the same time the 2015 edition was awarded to Kazan, Russia.
But the Mexican sport commission eventually stepped back, citing the high cost of the event and the weakness of the global economy. Mexico had agreed to invest 100 million dollars for the championship but has so far only invested 9.5 million dollars.
By withdrawing, Mexico is liable to pay a fine of five million dollars to world swimming governing body FINA.
“In a few days we will be informing the media of what comes next,” FINA said Thursday. “And the decisions we make can include lots of things.”
Hamburg was unsuccessful in a bid to host the 2013 world championships while Berlin hosted the European championship in 2014.
“We will seek a conversation with the DSV to quickly clarify the conditions in which a German bid would make sense,” Hamburg’s Social Democratic Party councillor Michael Neumann said.