World Rowing Championship team says 'all eyes' are on Sarasota-Bradenton area
As members of the Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance and Rotary Club of Lakewood Ranch rubbed elbows during a joint luncheon Feb. 15, they also got a sampling for what’s ahead this year — the area becoming center stage for the world.
More than 200 people turned out for the first-time joint luncheon held at the Lakewood Ranch Country Club to hear panelists representing the 2017 World Rowing Championships. The event will be held Sept. 23 to Oct. XX, at Nathan Benderson Park, and is expected to bring more than 40,000 visitors from across the world.
“It’s the first time in 23 years it’s been held in the United States,” said Meredith Scerba, executive director for the 2017 World Rowing Championships. “(The park is) quite a gem we have here.”
Already, 12 international television stations have committed to covering the event, translating into more than 900 hours of television coverage.
Scerba said the team is organizing an “epic” opening ceremony, showcasing much of the area’s unique offerings, and also has planned themed days and festivals during regatta. There’s even a proposed “visitor experience schedule” encouraging visitors to partake in local activities, such as tours of micro breweries, a stroll around St. Armand’s Circle and attending the Sept. 29 Music on Main concert, in Lakewood Ranch.