SARASOTA COUNTY SPORTS HIGHLIGHTS
from the Sarasota Convention & Visitors Bureau
With amazing sports venues and all that Sarasota County has to offer to potential visitors beyond our beautiful, award-winning beaches, Sarasota is becoming one of America’s most beloved amateur sports capital.
In Fall of 2010, Sarasota Convention and Visitor’s Bureau is sponsoring 36 sports events, an increase of eight events from last year. These events include swimming, tennis, baseball, lacrosse and more.
The best way to attract events to the area is to continue building and renovating sports facilities throughout the county. Two venues that have received much attention this year are Nathan Benderson Park and Ed Smith Stadium . Nathan Benderson Park was home to four successful regattas this year, and plans call for it to become one of the top rowing venues in the world. This year’s success would not be possible if it were not for the Regatta Organizing Committee and the support of the local rowing community. The goal is for this facility to be 2000 meters by 2011, which will allow Sarasota the ability to host major collegiate and international regattas. Click here to view our new rowing marketing video.
To find out more about the top facilities in the country, we visited Oklahoma City, Sacramento (site of the 2010 NCAA Championships) and Cincinnati (site of the Youth National Championships). The SCVB would like to congratulate the Sarasota Crew and Sarasota Scullers on qualifying for the nationals and for their success at the Southeast Regionals this year. Qualifying for the Nationals is an incredible feat in itself, but winning a medal is every athlete’s goal. Congratulations to the Sarasota Scullers Women’s Lightweight 4+ for winning a bronze medal, pictured above from left to right are Katie Allen, Cara Rawe, Arianna Robbins, Julienne Koehler, Tori Hetman and coach Kirby Gallie.
Ed Smith Stadium was reinvigorated this spring when the Baltimore Orioles chose Sarasota as the Spring Training Home for 2010 and beyond. In the club’s first spring in Sarasota, the team drew 102,219 fans, an average of 6,815 fans per game, and a 39% increase from 2009, when the team played their final spring in Fort Lauderdale. This figure represents the largest increase in Major League Baseball this spring. In their final season in Sarasota last spring, the Cincinnati Reds drew 77,758 fans in 15 home dates, an average of 5,184. We are working closely with the Orioles and plan on making Sarasota the home to many youth and amateur baseball tournaments after each Spring Training Season.
Some other great events that Sarasota County has recently hosted includes the US Soccer Spring Showcase held at the Sarasota Polo Grounds over Memorial Day Weekend, attracting 155 teams, consisting of nearly 4,000 athletes. This event brought in not only the top men’s soccer players from the ages of 15-18, but also 300 college and professional coaches from across the USA to help them identify the next top talent in the sport of soccer. The Sarasota Baseball Classic , held in late March, consisted of 32 high school varsity teams with 618 athletes from Florida, Virginia and Kentucky. The tournament looks to grow in 2011 and is becoming one of the nation’s premier high school baseball competitions.
Sarasota County is a great place for sports, not only for our great year-round weather, but also for the numerous amenities our community has to offer. We have many attractions and offer a wide variety of accommodations in Sarasota County, anything from campgrounds to luxury resort hotels. Some of our best sporting venues include our many Sarasota County Parks, Ed Smith Stadium, Sarasota Polo Grounds, and Siesta Key Beach. No matter which sport you love, we are the place for you!
The above post was extracted with permission from Jason Puckett, Sports Manager for the Sarasota Convention and Visitors Bureau and at www.sarasotasports.org. For more information please contact Jason Puckett, firstname.lastname@example.org.