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Sarasota News Leader January 25, 2013 Page 47 off University Parkway, "with the word that Blackketter said he was hopeful the latter visit would occur in April, when Benderson Park that's it." would be hosting a regatta. In her presentation, Haley pointed out that the World Championships would bring in 42,000 On Feb. 28, Blackketter said, the first draft of people, including about 1,200 athletes from 62 the bid submittal is due. In March and June, nations and 900 to 1,000 coaches and officials. a local delegation would travel abroad to talk The 10-day event would generate 40,000 hotel with rowing officials from other countries room nights in Sarasota and Manatee coun- about its effort to win the World Championties, she added, noting that the teams would ships. arrive weeks ahead of time to train. The final bid would be submitted in May, he Additionally, Haley emphasized, "This is com- said, with the bid award coming in September. ing when tourism is at its absolute lowest." Haley pointed out that part of the financial Although the county tourism and Benderson commitment involves setting aside a maxiofficials would negotiate with FISA regarding mum of $775,000 for the television broadcast the exact dates, she said, "we're looking at of the Championships. mid to late September, so it's when we really, really need the business." The hope would be that a TV production company would purchase the rights to show the Regarding the expenses, Haley said that along events, Haley added. with the bid fees, the counties would need to send delegations to international events "In reality, rowing is not a top television viewto make presentations, and they would have ership event," she said. "It will be likely we'll to host FISA officials for a site inspection. have to cover some of these costs." During a regional regatta at Benderson Park in April 2012, spectators fill the banks of the lake to watch the events. Photo by Norman Schimmel

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