CHUNGJU, South Korea (970 WFLA) -- The International Federation of Rowing Associations (FISA) has voted to award the 2017 World Rowing Championships to Sarasota, in a partnership with Manatee County.
The FISA Congress voted to accept the recommendation of its selection committee. Sarasota's Nathan Benderson Park will be the centerpiece of an event that is expected to bring 42,000 rowers, coaches and spectators, according to a fact sheet prepared by Sarasota County government. The economic impact is estimated at 42 million dollars.
Sarasota County is using almost $20,000,000 in Tourism Development Tax money for upgrades to the park, including dredging and filling, landscaping and other amenities. The boathouse, grandstands and officials' towers will be paid for by donations through the Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates (SANCA).
The park already has plenty of experience with rowing, having hosted 10 regattas over the past four years.
Practice facilities would include Fort Hamer Park in Manatee County and Osprey in Sarasota County.
It'll be the first time the championships have been held in the United States in more than 20 years.