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President signs letter endorsing Sarasota County's bid for rowing championships

President Barack Obama has signed a letter supporting Sarasota County's bid to host the 2017 World Rowing Championships. The letter will be part of the bid package presented by Sarasota County officials to representatives of the International Federation of Rowing Associations (FISA) this weekend in Switzerland. FISA is the governing body of the sport of rowing.

"I am pleased to voice my support for Sarasota County's bid to host the 2017 World Rowing Championships," said President Obama. "Sarasota County would be thrilled to share its beautiful and expansive beaches with the athletes, and would provide a wonderful, unique experience for each of the 42,000 attendees."

According to estimates, the 2017 World Rowing Championships could generate $24 million in economic activity for the state and region with more than 42,000 visitors from 62 countries attending the two-week event. In addition, approximately 130 million people from around the world are expected to watch the event on television and on the web.

"Receiving the support of the President of the United States for this project provides a huge boost to our goal of establishing Sarasota County as destination for world class rowing events," said Sarasota County Administrator Randall Reid-. "We appreciate the President's support as well as that of all the people who have worked tirelessly on this project."

The Rowing and Aquatics Sports Center at Nathan Benderson Park, 2500 Honore Ave., Sarasota, is being developed as a world class facility for rowing and other water sports. Over the past four years, competitive rowers from around North America have traveled to Sarasota County to practice and compete on the 2000-meter course. Sarasota County has committed $20 million to the development of the park. When complete, it will be one of the premiere facilities in the world.

Earlier this year FISA representatives toured the facility as well as a practice course at Fort Hamer Park in Manatee County. Following the tour, Sarasota and Manatee county commissioners presented the representatives with a joint proclamation recognizing their visit to the region.

For more information, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000.