Nathan Benderson Park continues to cement its place as one of the top rowing venues in the world.
The latest notch in the park's belt came at a news conference Tuesday, when USRowing announced the park as the host of the 2019 World Rowing Under-23 Championships next July. This will be the first time the U23 championships are held outside Europe.
USRowing CEO Patrick McNerney said the bid is part of the organization's effort to "reinvest" in the area after the World Rowing Championships.
"This is a big step for our relationship with the Sarasota community," he said, "and collegiate rowing is a big fabric of our sport."
Visit Sarasota County president Virginia Haley said the deal came together over six months, starting in late November, and said the organization's relationships with FISA, USRowing, the park and the Bradenton Area Sports Commission, which have strengthened over the last few years, were the reason it was able to get done so quickly. Haley also said the deal was about more than money.
"Yes, it's tourism," Haley said. "Yes, it's economic impact. But we're also changing the lives of Sarasota and Manatee counties' young people, and that's a great feeling."
The announcement comes 16 days after the park was announced as the host of the 2019, 2020 and 2021 USRowing Youth Rowing Championships.
This year's U23 Championships will take place in Poznan, Poland, starting July 25.