RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Tuesday's announcement that North Carolina will play host to the 2029 World University Games has been met with much fanfare.
"Well it was tremendously exciting," said Hill Carrow, who serves as chair and CEO of the North Carolina Bid Committee. "You know, there was a lot of jumping up and down and hugging, high fiving and clapping, and a lot of hand good handshakes and everything."
Carrow is in Lake Placid, New York, with other members of the North Carolina delegation who were on hand when FISU decided on North Carolina. "We were thrilled because it's a big moment for our state and for our region. And just, college and university sports in general. This is why we always feel like we're at one of the key areas in the whole country...we're probably one of the greatest hotbeds for university sports here."
The be-here-before-you-know-it competition is estimated to bring $150 million dollars to North Carolina. Some projections believe North Carolina will see an economic impact of $300 million. "We feel like we're headed in a direction -- I think it'll be substantially more. But for the time being, we'll put it down at the lower more conservative level and see if we can top that substantially."
Not only will North Carolina play host to more than 7,000 athletes from 150 countries around the world, but it also gives the Tar Heel State an opportunity to highlight what makes the area an attractive one to big businesses to relocate, or at the very least, consider the area.
"The fact that it's coming to this area is certainly supportive for attracting investment dollars in the future," said economist and global investor Dr. Eugene Flood. "That's about the talent that we have in this state. Because we've got strong university systems, strong schools, and we're generating good talent that these businesses need. So that fits in one camp, but this is a different camp. This is really a vote of confidence about our infrastructure here in the state."
Dr. Flood and Carrow believe time is of the essence for the area to work out its problem spots, so it's ready come 2029. It's about being proactive and not reactive and getting big projects done that have long been talked about and even worked on in some capacity.
"Dix Park," Carrow said, "should be ready to go 2029. We want to show it to the world. Transportation across the triangle that we always got to struggle with; let's really work on that and get that where it needs to be by 2029."
The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau provided this statement to ABC11 about the event coming to the Tar Heel state:
"We are delighted that North Carolina has been named as host of the 2029 World University Games and that the Triangle and Triad regions will play key roles in making it happen. Raleigh was recently named the #1 Sports Host City in the U.S. by SportsTravel Magazine, and this announcement further strengthens our region's well-earned reputation as a premier sports event destination. We look forward to working with and supporting the Local Organizing Committee and our host partners in the years ahead to make the 2029 World University Games the best one yet." -Scott Dupree, Executive Director of the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance (GRSA)"