Just announced in Chungju, South Korea: The International Federation of Rowing Associations (FISA) officially named Nathan Benderson Park as the site for the 2017 World Rowing Championships, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
The announcement affirms Sarasota as a center for sports tourism. Officials expect the 2017 World Rowing Championships to draw 42,000 people to Southwest Florida. Estimates of the financial impact range in the $25 million range, according to the announcement.
Two other FISA events take place at Benderson Park in 2018.
We Sarasotans possess a keen interest in the history of our community. We’ve even been known to make up fanciful stories about how our town got its name.
Ever heard the one about Hernando de Soto's daughter Sara? As it turns out, that was creative marketing by starting with the first “Sara de Soto” pageant held here in 1916.
I don’t know about Sara, but, by the mid-1700s, maps identified Sarasota as Zara Zote, and Americans and Cubans ran ranchos or fishing camps along Sarasota Bay. They maintained a lively trade selling turtles and fish to merchants in Havana.
By the 1800s, the Seminole War raged and the U.S. Army established a fort at the site of the ranchos. Eventually the Seminole Wars ended and the federal government deported the native