FISU games could return to SUNY Potsdam in 2033

Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 5:22 PM EDT
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POTSDAM, New York (WWNY) - The FISU World University Games brought hundreds of athletes to Potsdam, playing hockey in Canton and Potsdam with the finals in Lake Placid. The 2023 games went so well for SUNY Potsdam, there’s talk of trying to host the games again in 2033.

“So, it was a lot of work. Pretty much the better part of three years in the making, but they went incredibly smoothly and it was honestly a joy to host the event.”

Those are Mark Misiak’s thoughts on the 2023 FISU World University Games that took place in the north country in January.

Misiak is the athletic director for SUNY Potsdam and says Potsdam’s participation in hosting the women’s hockey tournament at Maxcy Hall and housing athletes at Knowles Hall were great opportunities.

“The notion, the confidence that we can host really big worldwide events, again I think we can come away from hosting that event with a lot of confidence knowing that we can do it,” he said.

Not only were the games a logistical success for SUNY Potsdam, but they were also successful financially as well.

“It brought in just over $700,000 in revenue to the campus and revenue from areas that we normally wouldn’t see revenue in. For example, Knowles Hall was transformed into their athlete’s village. The revenue for Knowles Hall was just over $500,000,” said Patrick O’Brien, Director of Environmental Health & Safety, SUNY Potsdam.

Of the $700,000, half will be a profit for the college.

According to SUNY Potsdam officials, FISU organizers were so impressed with how well Potsdam did that they asked the school to host the games again in 10 years.

Beyond campus, businesses such as Maxfield’s on Market Street also saw a pop in business with international athletes coming in for a bite to eat.

Robert Castro who is a manager at Maxfield’s says he’d love to see the games come back to Potsdam in the future.

“If they see that we participated with that, community-wise, I think that’s going to be the best idea. Just bring more into Potsdam. Seeing what we have, you know, we have a lot of colleges around and I think that helps to promote that as well,” he said.

While no decision has been made on whether Potsdam could be part of hosting the games again, the success of the 2023 games could help bring them back for 2033.