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2017 World Rowing Championships awarded to the U.S. | Events

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2017 World Rowing Championships awarded to the U.S.
2017 World Rowing Championships awarded to the U.S.

SARASOTA, Florida - For the first time in more than 20 years, the World Rowing Championships will be held in the United States. Sarasota, Florida's Nathan Benderson Park (NBP) has been selected by the International Federation of Rowing Associations (FISA) to host the 2017 World Rowing Championships.

The 2017 World Rowing Championships are expected to attract more than 1,500 Olympic-caliber athletes from more than 70 countries. The international competition, which is a precursor to the Olympic Games, will be broadcast to a worldwide television audience of 130 million people. An estimated 40,000 spectators are expected to attend the event.

Present for the official announcement, which was made on Sept. 2 in Seoul, South Korea, were officials from Sarasota County, Manatee County, Visit Sarasota County, Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates (SANCA) and the United States Rowing Association. The commitment by Sarasota and Manatee counties, SANCA and the support of USRowing convinced FISA's world congress that returning to the United States for the World Championship was the correct vote.  

More than $40 million in public and private-sector funds have been committed to help transform a former borrow pit into Nathan Benderson Park, the premier rowing venue in North America, capable of hosting an Olympic-caliber event. Sarasota County's investment, $19.5 million, comes from a Tourist Development Tax (TDT), which is paid by visitors to the area. Those funds have paid for Phase I (dredge and fill) and Phase II (installation of park amenities, hardscaping and landscaping). Phase III of the project, construction of a state-of-the-art boathouse, timing towers, grandstands and other amenities, will be funded by SANCA and corporate support.

In addition to the commitment of state and local elected officials and the community, FISA officials cited the park's proximity to Interstate 75, Sarasota/Bradenton International Airport and the City of Sarasota, calm waters, and year-round good weather as reasons for choosing Nathan Benderson Park.

Many of the best rowing teams in North America spend the winter months training at NBP. The opportunity for Sarasota-Bradenton to partner with USRowing to host the World Championships will further develop rowing interest around the country. The United States has more than a quarter of a million rowers competing both domestically and internationally. NBP will continue to host events throughout the year, demonstrating that the United States of America has the premiere rowing venue in the Western Hemisphere.

For more information, contact the Sarasota County Communications at 941-861-5884 or visit www.worldclassrowing.com.