The International Table Tennis Federation has received interest from 28 cities to become the location for its new headquarters.
The cities are in 18 countries and the governing body said its new head office “will enable the centralisation of the overall workforce and drive the continued growth of the sport.”
The ITTF sent request for proposal documents to the candidate cities yesterday, with a deadline of 15 April for interested parties to submit initial bids.
The strongest bids will be shortlisted in June with final proposals to be submitted by 15 September, and the city selected on 30 September.
The ITTF said it is looking for “a thriving new hotspot for table tennis players, business professionals, coaches and officials from across the globe to unite in a single location and collectively take table tennis to the next level among the world’s leading sports.”
The federation is presently based in Lausanne, Switzerland, but its commercial and marketing departments are in Singapore.
Deloitte, the multinational services network, UK-based law firm Withers LLP and architecture company Hassell are working with the federation in its search for a new home.
The ITTF said its new headquarters, which will be named the ‘global home of table tennis’, will also feature training facilities, a research lab, educational hub, centre for innovation and local community centres.
Thomas Weikert, the ITTF president, said: “We have grown tremendously as an organisation since June 2017 and we now have over 70 full-time staff members. Our strategy is to centralise the workforce in one location to allow for more efficient operations. What’s great is that we have received significant interest from some very big cities which interest us.”
Chief executive Steve Dainton added: “Due to the high level of interest, we are sure that we will end up somewhere great, but we needed to make sure we invested in this with a professional approach to ensure we get the best outcome. This won’t just be any old-style headquarters. We want our future property to have plenty of table tennis activity, in contrast to our current home.”