The contest for host city status at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011 has entered its final and decisive phase. An Organising Committee (OC) expert panel visited the Arena in Leverkusen on Friday 15 August, the ninth of the eleven candidate venues on the OC tour of inspection
"In all the potential venues, we sense the utter determination to make the Women’s World Cup 2011 as good a festival of football as we had in 2006,” commented OC general coordinator Ulrich Wolter.
Apart from the stadiums in Berlin and Frankfurt, due to be inspected on 28 and 29 August, the OC experts have now visited the stadiums or construction sites in Augsburg, Bielefeld, Bochum, Dresden, Leverkusen, Magdeburg, Monchengladbach, Sinsheim and Wolfsburg over the last two weeks.
"We’re really impressed with the nine candidate cities we’ve seen so far. The representatives of the cities, often the mayor of the location in question, are showing sustained and serious interest in the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011. We’re spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting venues,” Wolter continued.
The delegation, headed by the general coordinator and comprising head of the cities and stadiums section Winfried Nass, marketing director Doris Fitschen and media director Jens Grittner, has been analysing plans for the FIFA Women’s World Cup with appropriate representatives of the candidate venues, focusing on core areas such as infrastructure, security and transport.
The next key deadline falls on 19 September 2008, by which time the eleven candidates must have signed and returned the Host City Agreement and stadium rental contract to the OC in Frankfurt.
The comprehensive stadium rental contracts stipulate the detailed rights and obligations for both parties before and during the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011. Apart from stadium handover protocols and length of occupancy, the contracts cover conversion work and operations at the stadiums, financial guarantees for both parties and appropriate insurances.
The Host City Agreements transfer extensive marketing rights to the cities, but also impose certain obligations, including organising and operating a ‘Fan Mile’ festival during the FIFA Women’s World Cup, participation in the volunteer programme and assigning advertising and corporate ID space.
The next stage in the selection process calls for the drawing up of an internal shortlist between 23 and 28 September for a working discussion with FIFA. Apart from technical and infrastructural considerations, the decision-making criteria will include regional distribution and commitments to girls’ and women’s football.
The German FA (DFB) executive committee will convene on 29 September for the specific purpose of selecting the host cities for the tournament, before a liaison meeting with FIFA the following morning to finalise the venues for the 6th FIFA Women’s World Cup from 26 June to 17 July 2011. The final host city roster is set to be announced in Berlin at midday on 30 September 2008, exactly 1,000 days before the opening match at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011.