BRADENTON -- At Monday's Tourist Development Council meeting, Elliott Falcone, Executive Director of Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), explained just how close the Sarasota/Bradenton area is getting to being put on the global map. This May 31, in Switzerland, an international panel will decide where the 2017 International Rowing Championships will be held -- and there are good reasons why this area may be chosen.
|Rendition Of Sports Center At Benderson Park|
Mannasota has a world class Regatta Sports Center at Nathan Benderson Park, just south of the Manatee /Sarasota county line off of I-75 and University. It's a 1.9 million sq. ft. mixed use facility that has grown into the finest rowing facility in the country, and the third best in the world -- according to Falcone.
Falcone says, "We have exceeded our expectations of last year," when the 2017 championship was just an idea. Investments from Sarasota and Manatee County, Benderson Development and other organizations kept coming, and now what started as a community investment could have its own mark on a global map for an industry.
It's not just rowing sports that make the facility so attractive, there are talks of it hosting triathlons, as well as other sports and festivles. But what locals will appreciate most will be the jobs that will wrap around each event, and the CVB is predicting that millions of dollars annually will be generated from the venue.
Council member Ed Chiles says, "This isn't about us, it is about the region." adding, "When people come to the area, they fall in love with it."
Manatee County already shares a large portion of the vacationers that come to Florida from Europe. If Benderson Park is picked for the 2017 championships, a sport that is very popular there, Manatee County's cache will surely go up.