BRADENTON -- At Tuesday's meeting, the Manatee County Commission voted to authorize a bid for the 2017 world rowing championships to be held at Nathan Benderson Park. The county's cost is estimated to amount to $1,104,740 over a five year period. The bid is to be a joint effort between Manatee and Sarasota Counties, in conjunction with the Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Association (SANCA).
No Manatee County property tax money is to be used for the expenses. Instead, funding will come from bed tax revenues, which the Tourist Development Council unanimously voted to recommend for the bid at a February 17 meeting. Money from the TDC reserves would be used to cover the 2013 costs.
Costs are derived from commercial and television rights, travel expenses, as well as bid monies for a 2016 international rowing test event that would also be held at Nathan Benderson Park, which is located just south of the Manatee/Sarasota County line on University Blvd, near I-75. Over 40,000 people attended the event in 2012.
Dr. Walter Klages of Research Data Services estimated the potential economic impact to the region at nearly $25 million, noting that there would be the additional benefit of branding the facility for future use in high-profile rowing events. Click here to read the full rationale presented to the board.
Returning again to the BOCC to present the updates and directives was Paul Blackketter, Chief Operations Officer for SANCA. Blackketter said "This is truly a regional success" adding, "We are a world champion venue." Blackketter said the U.S. has more rowers than anywhere else in the world, stating, "…and we have the right infrastructure and people to make this happen."
Blackketter concluded his presentation saying, "We are six months ahead of schedule and within budget."
For more rowing info go to: worldclassrowing.com
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