The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has opened a bidding process to host events on its 2017 World Tour, which is to undergo a major revamp in an effort to make the series more attractive to prospective host cities.
Next year’s 12 World Tour events, which are all featured in the bidding process, will be split into two tiers. These will comprise of the six World Tour ‘Platinum’ events, the new top tier of the series, as well as six regular World Tour events.
The Platinum events will offer larger prize purses than regular events and also feature the players ranked highest by the ITTF.
ITTF president Thomas Weikert said: “The ITTF World Tour has been a very valuable property since its inception in 1996. However, the ITTF believed it was time to shake up the World Tour to make it more commercially viable for potential hosts, and to increase the overall economic situation of the tour. We believe the changes implemented will take the already successful ITTF World Tour to the next level.”
As a result of the revamp, the ITTF has removed the World Tour Challenge series from the 2017 World Tour. The sport’s global governing body will instead form a new property called the ‘ITTF Challenge Series’, which will serve as its development tour from 2017.
Parties interested in bidding for events have until May 31 to submit a proposal.