March: World University Games Update

If ever there was a time when all of America seems focused on college and university sports, it has to be this month when the country is “all in” on March Madness. The Men’s and Women’s NCAA Basketball Tournaments and the Men’s and Women’s NIT Tournaments have a combined total of 216 teams vying for 4 championship trophies. That is almost 60% of the 363 NCAA Division I schools competing in championship basketball competition during the month of March! No wonder they refer to it as “madness”!

2029 World University Games Dates Announced

During its most recent Executive Committee meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, earlier this month, the International University Sports Federation (FISU), the international governing body for the World University Games, approved the competition dates of the 2029 FISU World University Games in North Carolina USA to be the following:

Wednesday, July 11 through Sunday, July 22, 2029

“We are grateful to the FISU leadership for confirmation of these dates for the Games,” said Hill Carrow, Chairman & CEO for the 2029 World University Games. “These were the dates recommended and requested by our university hosts and other venues involved in our bid as being the best dates for those host institutions and facilities to be able to accommodate the Games. Now that the dates have been set, we can add more specificity to our project timelines as we continue to plan for the big event.”

First-Ever Progress Report on the 2029 WUG

At that same Executive Committee meeting on March 1, the North Carolina Organizing Committee (NCOC) was asked by FISU to deliver its first-ever Progress Report on preparations for the 2029 Games in North Carolina. Hill Carrow presented the report on behalf of the Organizing Committee, which was well-received by the membership. Both the President of FISU, Leonz Eder, and the Secretary General, Eric Saintrond, congratulated North Carolina on being ahead of typical Games timelines, but cautioned Team NC to stay on top of their game because, though the big event seems far away at this point, the time for preparations for every global mega-event always passes way too quickly.

Meetings with International Sports Federations

Lausanne, which refers to itself as Olympic City, home of FISU and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), is considered the center of international sports, and many of the International Sports Federations (IFs) have their headquarters or significant operations there. The North Carolina USA Team took advantage of that fact while in town for the FISU Executive Committee sessions and visited with both the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG), and International Volleyball Federation (FIVB). Jing Zhao, Director of the Summer World University Games for FISU joined the meetings with Sylvie Martinet, Sports Event Manager for FIG, and Fabio Azevedo, General Director; Rahaleh Ahadpour, Beach Volleyball; and Alice Kessler, Head of the Volleyball Department, at FIVB. Both Ifs were excited to learn more about the FISU Games in North Carolina, including the likely venues and athlete housing for their sports. Both also provided valuable input on quality competitions, fan engagement, and the athlete experience for the 2029 Games.

WUG Host Cities Recognized as Top Host Cities for Sports Events

The Sports Business Journal (SBJ) recently ranked the top cities in the United States at winning and hosting sports events and Raleigh, Durham, Cary, and Greensboro all received major recognition. Raleigh/Durham/Cary were ranked together as the #23 “city” in the US in the sports events industry. In ranking the Triangle region, SBJ cited coming events of USA Baseball, the ACC, NCAA, and the 2029 World University Games; venues such as PNC Arena, the Raleigh Convention Center, and Durham Bulls Athletic Park; and new major hotels in development. Meanwhile in a separate ranking of “Cities without a Big Five Team”, Greensboro was ranked #2 in the country (just behind Ft. Worth, Texas). SJB complimented the Greensboro Coliseum Complex, the Greensboro Aquatic Center, and NC A&T State University’s Truist Stadium, all of which are venues for the 2029 FISU World University Games. 

WUG 2029 Host Universities Well-Represented in March Madness

The North Carolina USA Host Region for the 2029 World University Games has been very well represented in the NCAA Tournaments, with both the Men’s and Women’s basketball teams from Duke, NC State, and UNC Chapel Hill competing in the “Big Dance.” Five of those teams have made it thus far to the Sweet Sixteen, with only UNC’s Women’s Team falling to #1 seed South Carolina in their last game. All three universities are serving as Host Universities for the 2029 Summer World University Games, and a case could certainly be made that in both championship tournaments, there is no other region in the United States that measures up to the performances of our local teams. That level of collegiate sports competitiveness is just one of many reasons why North Carolina USA was chosen to host the World University Games, considered to be the “Olympics” for college and university athletes from around the world.

WUG 2029 Venues Hosting Their Own Version of March Madness

These are just a few of the major events in the sports of the 2029 World University Games that took place across our region last weekend (March 21-25):

  • Women’s NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament First & Second Rounds, Reynolds Coliseum (Basketball Venue for WUG2029), NC State University, Raleigh
  • Butterfly Triangle Cup Table Tennis Tournament, Triangle Table Tennis and Badminton (Table Tennis Training Venue for WUG2029), Morrisville
  • Mid-Atlantic Power League (MAPL) Volleyball Tournament, Triangle Volleyball Club (potential Volleyball Training Venue for WUG2029), Wake Competition Center, Morrisville
  • Atlantic Coast Conference Gymnastics Championships, Greensboro Coliseum Complex (Artistic Gymnastics and Rhythmic Gymnastics Venue for WUG2029), Greensboro

Each of these events serves as a testament to the strength of our region in collegiate, Olympic, and amateur sports, and also serves as a mini-test event for our future hosting of the World University Games.

Sports Briefs

  • NC State’s Women’s Gymnastics Team captured the first Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Gymnastics Championships in 40 years when they won the event held in Greensboro March 23
  • UNC’s Men’s Fencing Team won its first ACC Championships in 44 years last month, and two UNC fencers, Sophia Wood and Elden Wood went on to compete in the NCAA Fencing Championships last weekend
  • UNC’s Aranza Vazquez was named the ACC Diving Championships most valuable diver, winning on both the 1-meter and 3-meter boards
  • Lulu Black, Assistant Director at the Durham Sports Commission and former NC USA World University Games Intern, was recognized by Triangle Business Journal as a Rising Star at its recent Women In Business Awards

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.