World University Games coming to North Carolina in 2029

Raleigh, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina(Dennis Ludlow | Wikimedia Commons)
Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 10:46 AM EST
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) - Although North Carolina lost its bid to host the World University Games in 2027 — the state won for 2029, the International University Sports Federation announced Tuesday evening.

Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary and Greensboro will be home to the World University Games, an event second only to the Olympics for international sports that will bring college athletes from around the world to North Carolina’s doorstep.

“It really makes a statement about where North Carolina is, where the expectation is and where we’re going to think that we can very successfully host an event of this global stature,” Hill Carrow said, the Chairman & CEO of the North Carolina Bid Committee.

Despite denying North Carolina the games in 2027 and awarding it to South Korea, the FISU President released a statement on the deciding factor to award the games to the state.

“We were very impressed with what North Carolina has to offer the FISU Games from our site visits, their candidature dossiers, and the presentation to our Executive Committee in conjunction with their original bid for the 2027 FISU World University Games,” President Leonz Eder said.

He continued, “The North Carolina USA Bid, in fact, scored the highest on our staff technical evaluation of the bids. Even though North Carolina did not win the 2027 FISU Games last fall, we have worked diligently with our membership and staff since that time on the best way to secure North Carolina USA as a future host of the FISU Games. Fortunately, with our leadership gathered in Lake Placid for the Winter Games, the timing has been very appropriate and opportune to approve North Carolina USA as the Host City of the 2029 FISU World University Games.”

Additionally, Gov. Roy Cooper (D) and Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger commented on the large event coming to the state.

“We’re excited for the opportunity to host the World University Games in North Carolina in 2029. Our state has world class facilities, a great enthusiasm for college sports and legendary southern hospitality that will make these games a success,” Gov. Cooper tweeted.

Furthermore, Mayor Hemminger said, “We are thrilled to have the World University Games come to our region. Hosting these events will be a highlight for all those who enjoy top level sport competitions.”

More than 7,000 athletes are expected to compete in 18 sports over a 12-day span.

Ben Stone fenced for Duke University and represented the United States in Italy’s World University Games in 2019.

“It’s fun to see people give it their all. It’s different than any other sporting event,” Stone said. “Walking through the opening ceremony, people, fans from around the world clapping for you.”

The FISU World University Games Summer have only been held once previously in the United States: Buffalo, New York, in 1993.

The 2029 games is expected to bring fans and athletes from around 150 countries together and will pour more than $150 million into North Carolina’s economy.