International sports federations

The City of Lausanne regards itself as the point of contact for international sports federations and organisations wishing to establish their headquarters here. Lausanne, Olympic Capital since 1994, is very proud to have hosted the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee since Baron Pierre de Coubertin requested it in 1915.

The Olympic Movement is run and administered from Lausanne, also home to various services related to the IOC and most notably to its splendid Museum, the International Council of Arbitration for Sport, Olympic Solidarity and the Centre for Olympic Studies.

We are fortunate enough to have more international sports organisations and federation headquarters than any other region in the world. The City of Lausanne and its region are home to 25 sports federations, the vast majority of which represent disciplines on show at the Olympic Games: gymnastics, cycling, archery, table tennis, fencing, boxing, equestrian sports, rowing and indeed figure skating. These international institutions thus benefit from the geographical proximity of the Olympic institutions and the ease of contact with those in charge of them.

Lausanne is also home to more than 40 international sports organisations, including the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and the European office of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Such a concentration of major players in world sport in our region has a significant impact in terms of economy, tourism and image. A recent study, ordered by the City of Lausanne, the State of Vaud and the IOC, conducted by the International Academy of Sports Science and Technology (AISTS), estimates the spin-off economic benefits of the presence of the international sport federations and organisations on Swiss, Vaud and Lausanne soil. Totalling 2’150 job, this sector generates over 1.07 billions per year, among them 550 millions in the State of Vaud and 250 million only in Lausanne.


General conditions

Facilitating the establishment of international sports federations and organisations

The authorities in the Canton of Vaud and those of the City of Lausanne, Olympic Capital, have worked closely with the Swiss authorities to create conditions specifically designed to welcome international organisations related to sport.

These conditions address issues related to admission to Switzerland, to residence and work permits, to customs, to the purchase of buildings and the tax system and, more particularly, to direct taxation and VAT.

As well as these specific advantages, the Canton of Vaud and the City of Lausanne offer two major assets:

1. Free hire of rented offices for a duration of two years, subject to terms to be defined.

2. A one-stop shop whose objective is to facilitate contacts with administrative bodies and, more generally, with civilian society in the Vaud and Lausanne, most notably by:

  • Contributing to the search for premises and accommodation;
  • Simplifying administrative procedures with a view to speeding them up;
  • Giving useful and practical information on a wide variety of aspects of life in Switzerland

Maison du Sport International

A unique realisation in the world

LT/ Laurent Kaczor LT/ Laurent Kaczor

A unique complex that brings together under one roof several of the leading players in international sports administration, notably the headquarters of thirty or so international sports federations and organisations and some twenty companies active in the field of sport.
Strategically positioned on the Avenue de Rhodanie, by the shores of Lake Geneva, the Maison du Sport International (MSI – the “Home of International Sport”), officially opened on June 23rd 2006, and comprises a reception building and three office blocks, forming a modern, welcoming and functional complex in a prime location.

Apart from 5’500 m2 of office space, the building provides conference rooms, a cafeteria and a gym.

A remarquable working tool

This new infrastructure, owned in equal parts by the City of Lausanne, the Canton of Vaud and the IOC, constitutes a remarkable opportunity for international Sports Federations, allowing them to work together, cultivate contacts, share experience and exploit synergies. What is more, it further reinforces the status of «Lausanne, Olympic Capital».

Study: economical impact of the presence of ISF

The City of Lausanne and the Canton of Vaud lead for years a public policy of welcoming international sports federations and organizations.

Both communities have repeatedly asked the Academy of Sports Science and Technology (AISTS) to measure the economic impact of the presence of these international sports federations and organizations on the Swiss soil.

You can, from this page, download a summary and the full text of these studies that quantify these benefits to more than 1.07 billion per year and more than 2,150 jobs created in the Lake Geneva according to the latest version of this study published in April 2015.

Economical study of ISF from 2008 to 2013

Economical study of ISF from 2004 to 2007


Seminars and congresses aimed at ISF

Over the course of several years, the City of Lausanne and the Canton of Vaud have created a succession of conditions to help sports federations established in their region. One of the services provided relates to training.

Within this framework, the City of Lausanne and the Canton of Vaud have since 2005 offered employees of international sports organisations based in the region the opportunity to participate in ongoing training seminars on diverse topics related to sports management. The subjects covered in these seminars, such as knowledge sharing, interaction between organisations and the creation of synergies among them, largely meet the expectations of the participants.

Coronavirus: situation in Lausanne