The English city of Birmingham is facing a challenge to its bid to stage athletics' 2016 World Indoor Championships after the IAAF, the sport's international governing body, accepted a late application from Portland in Oregon, USA.
Both cities will make presentations to the IAAF’s ruling council in Monaco on November 15, after which a vote will be taken.
Birmingham was the only city to submit a bid by the IAAF’s original deadline of September 15, but the federation granted USA Track and Field extra time to put together a proposal.
The Birmingham/UK Athletics bid, underwritten to the tune of £2.5 million ($4 million) by the city council, involves the renovation of the National Indoor Arena, which previously staged the World Indoor Championships in 2003.
If Birmingham is successful next month, it would secure yet another major athletics event for the UK, following the London 2012 Olympic Games, the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the 2017 IAAF World Championships and IPC World Championships for Paralympic athletes, both in London.
In addition, Cardiff has submitted a bid to host the World Half Marathon Championships in 2016. A decision on the host will also be made next month, with the Welsh capital unopposed.
However, USA would represent an attractive option for the IAAF as it considers the destination for the World Indoor Championships. Despite its pedigree in athletics, the country has never hosted the outdoor World Championships and has only staged the indoor event once, in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1987.
Oregon's bid is understood to be based on events at the Moda Center, the home of the Portland Trail Blazers NBA basketball team.
Birmingham and Eugene, the second largest city in Oregon, located around 100 miles south of Portland, both stage meetings in the annual IAAF Diamond League series.