The race to host the 2020 Olympic Games will open in May, with the winning city chosen in September 2013, the International Olympic Committee said on Thursday.
National Olympic authorities will be invited on May 16 to submit names of candidates by September 1, the IOC said after a meeting of its executive board set the dates.
IOC President Jacques Rogge said countries in tropical or southern areas would have an opportunity to announce any plans to stage the event outside the usual mid-year slot by July 29, allowing an early evaluation of their claim.
"We have been approached by potential candidates for which the bracket of end of July and August, which is the normal bracket of the games, is not suitable," he explained.
Final applications and guarantees by candidate cities must be handed over to the Lausanne-based IOC by February 15, 2012, with an initial shortlist due to be made by the executive board the following month.
The host will be chosen by the 115 IOC members at their meeting in Buenos Aires on September 7, 2013, after inspections in March and April.
India, Berlin, Cape Town, Rome and Istanbul have signalled their interest in bidding to host the 2020 event in recent years.