The process for deciding the host cities and stadiums for the FIFA Women's World Cup Germany 2011 is entering its final phase. Last Friday, 25 July, the Organising Committee (OC) of the German Football Association (DFB) sent out the contracts to the 11 candidate cities that had applied to host games. Contracts were also sent to the stadium owner's (or the partner companies responsible for running the venue) in each city. Of the 12 cities that originally applied to be a ‘Host City', 11 now remain following Essen's elimination.
The 11 candidate cities - Augsburg, Berlin, Bielefeld, Bochum, Dresden, Frankfurt, Leverkusen, Magdeburg, Monchengladbach, Sinsheim and Wolfsburg - now have seven weeks to meet the comprehensive conditions set in the contracts drawn up by FIFA. Applicant cities are required to sign and return both the ‘Host City Agreement' and stadium rental contract to the OC in Frankfurt by 12 September at the latest.
An internal meeting between DFB and FIFA representatives is planned for the week 23-28 September to discuss the merits of the short-listed cities. The following day, an extraordinary meeting of the DFB Presidium will then decide on the venues selected to host games. After consultation and agreement with FIFA, the names of the successful host cities will be made known to the public on the 30 September - exactly 1,000 days before the tournament is due to begin.
The detailed contracts that have already been sent out to the stadiums, list the rights and responsibilities of both parties to the agreement for the period leading up to and during the FIFA World Cup 2011. They include not only the rental conditions for stadium use but also stipulations concerning the running and conversion of the venues, as well as the financial and insurance guarantees given by the OC and its partners. Marketing rights are also covered; the stadia, for example, are required to be handed over without advertisements on display.
No less exacting are the contracts that went out to the candidate host cities. Each venue will be allowed to organise events to tie in with the tournament while having the right to present itself as a host city of Germany 2011 on both its own website and that of FIFA. With the consent of FIFA, each city will have the opportunity to design its own poster and logo but must also guarantee that a fanzone will be located in a prominent part of the city. Other duties for the host cities include helping FIFA and the OC safeguard its marketing and media rights, assisting with ticket-sales and ensuring the presence of FIFA Women's World Cup 2011-related decoration in town centres.