Benderson Park named ‘Venue of the Year’ by Florida Sports Foundation
SARASOTA COUNTY – The Florida Sports Commission selected Nathan Benderson Park as the “Venue of the Year” during an awards ceremony last week in Fort Lauderdale.
The Sarasota County park, which is managed by the not-for-profit Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Inc. (SANCA), hosted nearly 50 events in 2014, including rowing competitions, 5K runs and dragon boat races. It drew more than 50,000 athletes and spectators last year and had an economic impact of more than $12 million.
“This honor is a testament to the many county employees who helped to complete the Benderson Park project and to those who keep it running every day for our residents and visitors to enjoy,” said County Administrator Tom Harmer.
Since it officially opened last June, Benderson Park has also become a popular place for locals and visitors to walk, run, paddle and cycle.
“We are proud to have not only a world-class rowing facility but another beautiful neighborhood park here in our community,” said Carolyn Brown, director of Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources. “We’re thankful for the employees, volunteers and community partners who make it so great.”
Benderson Park will host the 2015 USRowing Youth National Championships next month, as well as the 2017 World Rowing Championships and the 2018 NCAA Divisions I, II and II Rowing National Championships.
The park has been recognized as “The Best Race Course in North America” by Rowing Magazine, and Sarasota County won an Alliance for Innovation Award for the project.
For more information, call the Sarasota County Contact Center at 941-861-5000 or visit www.scgov.net.