April World University Games update

April: World University Games Update

April is a big month in college athletics in America, highlighted by the finals of the Men’s and Women’s Basketball National Championships. The Women’s finals set a new mark for broadcast viewership, topping the Men’s final, and helping further underscore a strong seismic shift helping put women’s sports in a leadership position that has been too long coming. April has also been a strong month for World University Games-related sports developments, so please read on to learn more.

USA Baseball National Headquarters Grand Opening

Taylor Swift has always considered 13 to be her lucky number and the 13th of this month turned out to be an unforgettable day in Cary, one of our 2029 World University Games Host Cities, with the Grand Opening of the new National Headquarters Building for USA Baseball, the national governing body for the sport of Baseball in the United States.

The new building is amazing, as it includes not only top-of-the-line offices for USA Baseball’s 40-person staff as well as Town of Cary Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources associates, but also a full major league infield (indoors!) and batting cages. “This is a tremendous addition to the USA Baseball National Training Complex,” said Paul Seiler, CEO of USA Baseball. “It is a place we are very proud to call home, and we are grateful to our partners at the Town of Cary who helped make this outstanding facility possible.”

The ceremonies were attended by the Mayor and Town Council members of the Town of Cary; USA Baseball’s Chairman, Board members, and even members of the Selection Committee that chose the region to be the new home of USA Baseball in 2002. The first-ever major project of the Triangle Sports Commission (TSC) [yes, the same organization that won the bid for the 2029 World University Games!] when it was formed in 2001 was to enter the bid process for USAB’s new headquarters and National Training Complex. After winning the bid, the TSC later successfully secured $3.3 million in funding for the new headquarters building.

Mayor Harold Weinbrecht, USAB CEO Paul Seiler, Hill Carrow, and Kathy Kelly.

Both Cary’s Mayor Harold Weinbrecht (far left in the photo) and USAB CEO Paul Seiler (photo far right) gave shoutouts during their Grand Opening comments to Hill Carrow, TSC CEO and Chair & CEO of the 2029 World University Games (photo, second from right), who successfully led the regional effort to recruit USA Baseball to the Triangle from Tucson, Arizona. Also attending was Kathy Kelly (photo, second from left) who is the widow of Jack Kelly, who led the Selection Committee for USA Baseball, which chose the Triangle to be USA Baseball’s new home base

NC USA WUG 2029 on Capitol Hill

During the last two months, representatives of the North Carolina USA 2029 FISU World University Games have been on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, to meet with members of Congress, particularly members of the North Carolina delegation, about the Games. “We have had very productive meetings with our congressional delegates,” said Jim Cain, a member of the North Carolina Organizing Committee (NCOC) Board, and former U.S. Ambassador to Denmark and President of the Carolina Hurricanes NHL Team. “During our visits we were able to brief them on the magnitude and significant positive impacts of the Games, and also begin discussions on how the federal government and our North Carolina Team could partner together to ensure the success of the Games.”

North Carolina delegation visits thus far have included both North Carolina Senators, Ted Budd and Thom Tillis, as well as House of Representative Members Valerie FousheeRichard HudsonWiley NickelDeborah Ross, and David Rouzer. “We were also able to fit in a visit with Senator Mitt Romney,” said Hill Carrow, Chair and CEO of NCOC. “I worked with Mitt on the 2002 Salt Lake Olympic Games, and we knew that he was the guru of securing US Government support for global Olympic multisport events. It was a great conversation, made even more meaningful and timely when you consider that Senator Romney will be retiring at the end of this year after a storied career.

Hill Carrow and Jim Cain with Senator Thom Tillis of NC at his U.S. Senate Office this April.

Michael Conte describes international university sports events opportunities to an interested executive in April.

WUG2029 and International University Sports at Sports ETA

This week members of the NCOC staff were in Portland, OR, for the 2024 Sports Events & Tourism Association (Sports ETA), the national trade association for the sports tourism industry, Annual Symposium. Close to 1,000 sports tourism executives from around the country (and beyond) convened for association business, education, networking, partnership matchmaking, hospitality and much more.

Michael Conte and Hill Carrow of the NC USA WUG 2029 Team were on hand to promote the 2029 World University Games to be held in North Carolina’s University Hub, but also to inform communities about the opportunity to host international university sports events, such as World University Championships. Close to 60 cities stopped in for appointments to learn more, including Boston, Buffalo, Colorado Springs, Denver, Orlando, Tucson, and many more.

Currently the following FISU international university sport world championships are available for 2026: Cycling, Golf, Modern Pentathlon, Orienteering, Powerlifting, Sailing, Speed Skating, Squash, and Weightlifting. For cities with an interest in hosting one of these exciting international events, please contact Paulo Ferreira, Deputy Secretary General of FISU, at p.ferreira@fisu.net

News Briefs

Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance

Major congrats to the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance for being named one of the four finalists for Sports Tourism Organization of the Year (for markets of 500,000 and above) by Sports ETA at this week’s Symposium in Portland. Greater Raleigh was well-represented in Portland by Scott Dupree, Tori Collins, Jason Philbeck, and Jocelyn O’Sullivan.

Sports ETA Symposium

Not to be out-represented at this year’s Sports ETA Symposium, others among our 2029 World University Games Host Cities were also on hand for the big event, including Brian Ambuehl, Dennis Edwards, and Caleb Wilson of the Greensboro Convention & Visitors BureauDemp Bradford of the Greensboro Sports Foundation, and head of the North Carolina Sports Association; and Marcus ManningKaila’Shea Menendez, and Lulu Black of the Durham Sports Commission.

ACC Learfield Directors Cup

UNC Chapel Hill is currently third and NC State University is 7th in the latest rankings from the NCAA for the Learfield Directors Cup, given each year to the university with the best all-round athletic program. The current standings include the fall and winter seasons.

Aranza Vazquez Montano, a UNC Chapel Hill 4-time National Champion diver, has been named one of the finalists for an achievement award.

For almost 50 years the Women Collegiate Sports Awards have honored high-achieving female college athletes in 12 sports. This year, for Swimming & Diving, Aranza Vazquez Montano, a UNC Chapel Hill 4-time National Champion diver, has been named one of the finalists for the award.

WUG2029 Host Cities Ranked Among Tops in US for Sports Events!

Best Sports Business Cities: Event Hosting from April

In recent rankings of the top cities in the U.S. for event hosting, the Sports Business Journal (SBJ) ranked the Triangle – Raleigh/Durham/Cary – at #23, citing the 2029 World University Games as one of the reasons. SBJ also ranked Greensboro as #2 among cities with no major league franchise.

Support the Games

Be a vital part of championing the world’s premier event for student-athletes! Bringing the 2029 World University Games to our state promises unparalleled economic advantages for our communities. Seize the chance to spotlight North Carolina on the global stage! Click below to explore the myriad of ways you can contribute and support the Games.

Don’t Forget to Shop Local and Support the WUG

Our online store features 2029 FISU World University Games t’s, polos, hoodies, tanks, caps, and more. Items come in a wide variety of colors, and the store has proven to be quite a popular online shopping destination. Don’t miss your opportunity to show your support of the 2029 FISU World University Games by snagging some excellent quality, name-brand clothing and caps!

Sponsor Thank You’s

We cannot thank our sponsors enough for their strong belief in, and generous support of, the 2029 World University Games. We encourage you to patronize their businesses and give them your own personal thanks when you do.