February: World University Games Update

For the first time in four years, we are going to have a day added to this month, when two days from now we celebrate Leap Day in this Leap Year of 2024. Leap Year will help make 2024 special, but what else will happen this year to make 2024 truly stand out? Last year, 2023, we had the good fortune to land the World University Games. While that celebration will be hard to match in 2024, there are still many good things happening. Read on to find out more.

Several WUG Venues to Host Current and Future ACC Championships

On February 8, the Atlantic Coast Conference announced future host locations through 2029 for conference championships in 9 sports: Baseball, Basketball, Golf, Gymnastics, Lacrosse, Rowing, Soccer, Swimming & Diving, Tennis, and Track & Field. Several of our 2029 FISU World University Games venues, will be hosting ACC Championships in the same sports that will be staged in those venues during the World University Games. As an example, Cary Tennis Park, which has been selected as the host venue for ACC Men’s & Women’s Tennis Championships in 2024 through 2029, is also the Host Venue for 2029 World University Games Men’s & Women’s Tennis competition.

In addition to Cary Tennis Park, the following World University Games Venues are hosting multiple ACC Championships: Durham Bulls Athletic Park – ACC Baseball Tournaments in 2025, 2027, and 2029; Greensboro Aquatic Center – ACC Men’s & Women’s Swimming Championships 2024 through 2029. Greensboro Coliseum – ACC Women’s Gymnastics Championships 2024 to 2026. The first of these recently announced championships took place at the Greensboro Aquatic Center last weekend where the Virginia Women and NC State Men won ACC Swimming and Diving Championships. Next up are the ACC Gymnastics Championships at the Greensboro Coliseum on March 23 and the ACC Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships at Cary Tennis Park April 17-21.

Thank You for Your Vote!

Thanks to a large number of supporters casting their votes online, Hill Carrow and the World University Games received a Readers’ Choice Award this month from SportsEvents Magazine in the category of Best Live or Virtual Sports Event Planner.

Brenda Burns, Publisher at Sports Events Magazine, had this to say: “SportsEvents readers have once again voted to select the top sports events venues, events, partners and planners from across the country, and it is no surprise to us that Hill Carrow has been selected to receive an annual Readers Choice Award. This prestigious recognition comes from top sports events industry professionals who hold events across the U.S. These planners demand the highest level of customer service and quality facilities, and they have determined that they indeed display the commitment to professionalism, creativity, and service that they require.”

Hill and other winners are profiled in the February 2024 issue of the magazine, which can be accessed at Readers’ Choice Awards Winners’ Circle 2024.

Commentary: Rowing Venue Resurgence is Good News

Though Rowing is not a sport of the 2029 World University Games, we were, nevertheless, delighted to read on the City of Raleigh Parks & Recreation website earlier this month that Raleigh Parks is teaming up with the Atlantic Coast Conference, the GRSA, and WUG host universities, Duke and UNC Chapel Hill, to upgrade Lake Wheeler in Raleigh to become a significant destination venue for major Rowing events.

After all, it was Hill Carrow and the 1987 US Olympic Festival that donated a full 2000-meter rowing course and a complete 1,500-meter flatwater canoe/kayak course, including all anchors, buoys, and floating docks, to the City of Raleigh in 1987 after the conclusion of the Olympic Festival. Those courses and the related equipment would cost well into the six figures today. The courses were used actively, thanks to event-hosting by North Carolina Amateur Sports, the Local Organizing Committee for the Olympic Festival and current owner and host of the State Games of North Carolina, through 1992. Events during that timeframe included national championships in canoe/kayak and even 1992 Olympic Trials in the sport.

However, after that time, apparently due to neglect by the City of Raleigh, the extensive courses just seemed to disappear, and despite many inquiries from local rowing clubs, no one at the City knew anything about what had become of all the rowing and canoe/kayak equipment at the lake.

So now, more than 30 years after Lake Wheeler was left to languish after its prior life as a national and international rowing and canoe/kayak destination, under new management at Raleigh Parks & Rec it is slated to get a new life, including a significant commitment from the Atlantic Coast Conference to host the Conference Championships there this year and then again in 2026, 2027, 2029, and 2030. Bravo!

News Briefs

Many in the world of running were amazed that a first-time marathoner, Fiona O’Keeffe, won the Women’s U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon race in Orlando, Florida, on February 3. Not only did Fiona beat the next closest runner by a whopping 32-second margin, but she also set a new record for the event with a time of 2:22:10! Fiona O’Keeffe’s accomplishment may have stunned the US running community, but she does train in an area with a high concentration of world-class athletes – right here in North Carolina in Chapel Hill with her club Puma Elite, coached by Amy and Alistair Cragg. Now that Fiona has qualified for the Olympics, we’ll be pulling hard for her in Paris this summer!

It’s been 40 years since the Atlantic Coast Conference last sponsored the sport of Gymnastics as a league sport, but this year Gymnastics once again became an ACC sport. With a victory over Clemson on its home floor at Reynolds Coliseum, NC State University’s Gymnastics Team became the first ACC Regular Season Gymnastics Champion in 4 decades! Now NC State (which, by the way, also won the league title in 1984) hopes to defend its number 1 position in the Conference Championships to be held in Greensboro next month.

Contracts have been let for the final 11 miles of the Triangle Expressway, also known as NC 540 or the Raleigh Outer Loop, which will complete this important highway around the Capital City by 2028. The North Carolina Turnpike Authority (NCTA), which currently has 17 miles of the roadway under construction around the southern side of Raleigh, will be spending $417 million to finish the east side of the loop and create a complete outer beltway around Raleigh. Altogether, the NCTA will have spent more than $2.5 billion to build NC 540.

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