North Carolina to Host 2029 World University Games

Photo Courtesy: NCAA Media

North Carolina Lands 2029 World University Games

North Carolina has won the right to host 2029 World University Games, a bid built of an unsuccessful offer to host the 2027 event.

The announcement, made Tuesday by the International University Sports Federation (FISU), was unanimous in awarding the games to North Carolina. All 21 members voted that way at a vote held before the 2023 Winter World University Games in Lake Placid, New York.

North Carolina mounted a strong bid for the 2027 World University Games, which were awarded to Chungcheong Megacity in South Korea in November. That decision, by a 14-7 margin, included effusive praise for the North Carolina coalition, which was borne out in Tuesday’s vote.

“We were very impressed with what North Carolina has to offer for the FISU World University Games from our site visits, their candidature dossiers, and the presentation to our Executive Committee in conjunction with their original bid for 2027,” FISU president Leonz Eder said in a statement. “Even though North Carolina was not successful with its bid for the 2027 FISU Games last autumn, we have worked diligently with our membership and staff since then, on the best way to secure North Carolina USA as a future host of the FISU World University Games. It is important for our National University Sports Federations that we offer as much certainty for them as possible for the future and we’re grateful for this opportunity to do so.”

North Carolina’s bid included a coalition of 19 colleges and universities from Raleigh to Greensboro, in both the Triangle and Triad areas. The Greensboro Aquatic Center is one of the centerpiece facilities and will host aquatics events.

The World University Summer Games, or Summer Universaide, will return to North American for the first time since 1993, when Buffalo, N.Y., hosted. It’s the 33rd edition of the biennial event, dating to 1959. The Summer Games were last held in 2019 in Naples, Italy, postponed in both 2021 and 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is a great milestone in university sports history in the United States,” said U.S. International University Sports Federation president Dan Guerrero. “Building off the excitement of the FISU World University Games Winter that start here in Lake Placid this week, the 2029 FISU World University Games Summer in North Carolina will take the presence and awareness of international university sports in the United States of America, the number one market in the world for collegiate sports, to the next level!”

“The award of the 2029 FISU World University Games to our state and country is the culmination of an extensive 5-year effort by more than 1,000 individuals, 13 universities, 5 cities, 5 counties, the State of North Carolina, and 53 corporate and organizational sponsors to land this amazing event,” said Hill Carrow, the chairman and CEO of the North Carolina bid committee. “As an event that features the best collegiate athletes from around the world, it is a natural fit for a state with 130 colleges and universities and more than 350,000 university students. North Carolina’s landing these Games is similar to a major corporate relocation as the FISU Games will deliver a local economic impact of over $150 million, but with the added benefits of significant international tourism and worldwide branding exposure for our state and local communities. We thank FISU for selecting North Carolina USA as the Official Host of the 2029 FISU World University Games, and we look forward to partnering with the FISU Family to deliver a most successful 2029 Games!”