Organizers of the North Carolina bid to host the 2027 World University Games say that they are “strongly positioned” to host the 2029 event instead.
In a vote earlier this month by FISU, the overseeing organization of the World University Games and other international college sport competitions, the Chungcheong Megacity was chosen to host the 2027 World University Games ahead of a bid from Greensboro, North Carolina.
The American organizers said that “the North Carolina Bid was very well-received and is strongly positioned for the 2029 World University Games,” citing words of praise by FISU’s CEO Eric Saintrond.
“I was there in North Carolina. I saw all the venues and athlete accommodations in place, and the facilities are amazing,” Saintrond said. “North Carolina is a very special case for me. Everything is there. The atmosphere is there. It is really a student’s atmosphere with great people. I hope to find a solution to bring them back as soon as 2029. I believe that we will do it.”
The North Carolina big was centered around the university-heavy Research Triangle that includes major research universities NC State, Duke, and University of North Carolina, plus a number of other schools. That includes Division I schools Campbell University, North Carolina Central, and all of the athletics facilities that come with them.
In addition to the cities in the research triangle, a sub-site was named in Greensboro, home to one of the largest permanent aquatics complexes in the United States.
While the Greensboro bid relied on almost-entirely-existing venues, the South Korean bid promised 100% existing venues. South Korea has also successfully hosted the event twice (2003, 2015) since the last American event in Buffalo in 1993.
The North Carolina bid estimated between $150 million and $350 million in revenue for the state.
The North Carolina bid organizers say that they are already in talks with FISU about a 2029 bid. FISU has already begun the 2029 selection process – bid submissions were accepted until January 31, 2022. South Korea and the US were the first two countries to submit bids for 2027, and at the time, FISU referred to them as bids for both the 2027 and 2029 events.