Military World Games Tease $3 Billion in Revenue for North Carolina. Will Pentagon Agree to Host?

Sen. Ted Budd, R-N.C., speaks at a political event in Greensboro, N.C.
Sen. Ted Budd, R-N.C., speaks at a political event on Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Greensboro, N.C. (Chris Carlson/AP Photo)

Sen. Ted Budd received a commitment from the Department of Defense on Wednesday that it would consider supporting North Carolina's bid to host the 2027 Military World Summer Games in Charlotte.

Hosting the Military World Games is estimated to bring $3 billion in revenue to North Carolina.

Last month, Budd, Sen. Thom Tillis and 12 of North Carolina's 14 U.S. representatives sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin asking for help luring the military games to the state.

On Wednesday, Budd asked for a status update from Ashish Vazirani, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, when Vazirani testified before the Senate Committee on Armed Services. Vazirani oversees sports for the armed forces.

Budd told him that the host of the 2027 Military World Summer Games has been narrowed down to South Africa or the United States, but it is a requirement to have the Department of Defense sign off with their support to win the bid.

Vazirani confirmed that his team had received the lawmakers' letter and said, "The team is starting to review that. I'm looking forward to seeing the recommendation coming from the team, and Senator, I commit to ensuring that we pass that recommendation forward."

The International Military Sports Council created the Military World Games in 1995, with the intention of bringing together the world's militaries for friendly competitions.

In the letter to Austin, Budd said, "The showcase of militaries from across the globe competing in sports is a noble cause and opportunity to highlight United States values and national pride."

The summer games are held every year and have been previously hosted in Italy, Croatia, India, China, South Korea and Brazil.

It's a multi-sport event where military personnel compete both in traditional sports such as archery, boxing, diving and triathlons, as well as military competitions such as orienting, aeronautical pentathlon, military pentathlon and naval pentathlon.

Budd said in his letter, and reiterated to Vazirani, that North Carolina is strategically suited to host the Military World Games because of its many sports venues, colleges and transportation systems.

"I hope the DoD -- yourself -- would give us all the time and consideration," Budd said. "What does it say to our military athletes and communities that we don't even attempt to secure the games? So thank you for your best effort there in forwarding this along."

© 2024 McClatchy Washington Bureau.


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