The United States International University Sports Federation (USIUSF) has endorsed a bid to stage the 2027 Summer World University Games in North Carolina.
A formal letter of intent was sent the International University Sports Federation (FISU) yesterday, with the Triangle region the proposed location for the Games.
The Triangle region includes two of the state's four most populous cities - Raleigh and Durham - as well as three major universities; the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University and North Carolina State University.
"We have been delighted with both the interest that the Raleigh-Durham market has shown in hosting the Summer World University Games, and the significant assets and experience the North Carolina Bid Committee brings to the table," said USIUSF secretary general and FISU Executive Committee member Delise O’Meally.
"The fast-growing Triangle region, with its 10 colleges and universities, deep array of top-quality sports venues, and great track record of major multi-sport Olympic events is a natural for hosting the Summer World University Games. We are excited to partner with the Triangle organizers on this bid opportunity."
The US last staged the Summer Universiade in Buffalo in 1993, while Lake Placid is due to hold the Winter World University Games in 2023.
Hill Carrow, chairman and chief executive of the North Carolina Bid Committee, described the USIUSF's letter of intent as "a major milestone achievement for the Triangle".
"No city or region in North Carolina has ever been named the United States of America’s international candidate for a global event of this magnitude," Carrow continued.
"That is a huge accomplishment, and I want to thank the more than 200 individuals involved in the bid thus far, as well as the over 50 organizations and corporate sponsors who are backing our efforts and who have made this achievement possible.
"We do realize, however, that this is really just the first significant step towards accomplishing our main goal of having the United States be awarded the 2027 Summer World University Games, to be hosted right here in Raleigh-Durham, NC."
Chengdu in China is due to stage the 2021 Summer World University Games in August, before Yekaterinburg is Russia plays host in 2023.
Germany's Rhine-Ruhr region and Hungarian capital Budapest have shown interest in bidding for the 2025 edition of the biennial event.
"The next available year to bid on the Games, 2027, holds a lot of promise for Olympic sports in the United States as it is the year prior to the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, California," highlighted USIUSF President Dan Guerrero.
"In addition, our country has strong momentum for attracting the Summer World University Games, thanks to excellent work being done by the Local Organizing Committee in Lake Placid, New York, where they are slated to host the Winter World University Games in 2023 and are receiving very positive reviews for their Games preparations."
The Bid Committee said it expects the submission of a formal bid document, site visits from FISU and USIUSF staff, a presentation to the FISU Executive Committee and meetings with Chengdu 2021 and Lucerne 2021 officials to be among its activities in the next year, with a decision on the successful host anticipated in 2022.
In 2016, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) banned North Carolina from hosting neutral-site championship events over House Bill 2 (HB2) and moved seven events out of the state.
HB2 limited which public toilets transgender people could use and also provided barriers to sexual orientation and gender identity being covered by anti-discrimination policies.
The National Basketball Association also pulled its All-Star Game from the state in protest.
However, after the contentious HB2 was partially repealed, the NCAA ended its boycott of North Carolina in a decision criticised by LGBT+ activists.