Sarasota News Leader

02/15/2013

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Sarasota News Leader February 15, 2013 FISA CEO Matt Smith will be among those in the FISA delegation, Blackketter added, noting Smith���s inclusion indicates the depth of FISA���s support of the Benderson bid. FACILITIES UPDATE Blackketter also explained to the County Commission that the construction of facilities at the park is about a year ahead of schedule. Regatta Island should be completed in time for the rowing competitions the park will host this year, he noted. The first of 13 events scheduled in the park this year will be an international triathlon on March 16, Blackketter said. Page 51 Another board member is Bill Robinson, former owner of Robby���s Sporting Goods, which was sold to Champs Sports. Robinson now heads up Fit2Run, the ���largest specialized shoe store in the country,��� Blackketter said. A third board member is Ron Shapo, senior counsel with the Holland & Knight law firm in Tampa. Randy Benderson, executive director of Benderson Development, is also a board member. ���I think we all know [of] his personal investment in this venue for many years,��� Blackketter pointed out, adding that Benderson was the person with the vision to take property overgrown with Brazilian pepper trees and transform it into a physical fitness venue. ���So Randy is in it for the long term,��� Blackketter said. Additionally, the extension of Cattlemen Road from Fruitville Road to University Parkway will be finished in April, improving transportation to the venue, according to county staff (Sarasota County does own the park, a Feb. 12 reports. memo to the County Commission points out.) The commissioners learned during their budget workshop on Feb. 8 that the $14.5 million, Both Sarasota County Administrator Randall four-lane road project is about 85 percent Reid and Manatee County Administrator Ed Hunzeker will be ex officio members of the complete. board, he noted. Recapping what he told the TDC, Blackketter said SANCA will be raising $5 million in When Commissioner Christine Robinson private funds to complete the necessary in- asked Blackketter about SANCA���s business frastructure in time for the World Champion- plan for raising the extra $5 million to comships, if the Sarasota/Manatee group wins the plete the rowing facility, he replied that he and bid. the board should have the plan finalized within the next three to four weeks. SANCA MEMBERS Asked about his SANCA board members, Blackketter replied that among them is Bob Delaney, a former NBA referee who ���has incredible contacts with ESPN��� and is working with veterans as well as first responders suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Robinson asked for a copy of it when it was ready; Blackketter promised to make it available to the commissioners. Robinson also asked Reid to report to the County Commission if SANCA encounters any delays in that timetable. %

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