Rowing teams and clubs from as far away as Tennessee and Massachusetts will slice through the water here this weekend in the sixth annual Tampa Mayor's Cup Rowing Regatta.
Although Tampa's metro waterways are known in sculling circles across the nation as prime oar-dipping venues, the regatta is taking place nowhere near downtown. Instead, the Tampa Mayor's Cup will be held at Harney Park on the Tampa Bypass Canal about 10 miles from downtown and a couple of miles outside the city limits.
The change of location can be traced to economics.OK, we at The Eye get it that money and budget are tight, and we have to smart on how we spend our money. And maybe the City of Tampa should not pay or directly sponsor the event. But $1,700? That's it? For an event that can draw hundreds of participants and spectators? I know its not the Super Bowl, but for $1,700, we can maintain the event, draw more visitors into Tampa, where it should more than pay from increased business sales.
Holding the races on Seddon Channel or the lower Hillsborough River would mean race organizers would have to pay a fee to the city for a couple of police vessels to keep boating traffic from puttering onto the raceway.
City spokeswoman Ali Glisson said the cost of two boats with two officers on each boat would be about $1,700. Although downtown waterways would be great for the regatta, the city for the past few years no longer co-sponsors events or picks up the tab for those kinds of services.
At a minimum, the City of Tampa should have made a few phone calls to local business, particularly in the travel and hospitality industry and seek some sponsorships. Gee, a local triathlon gets more sponsorship than $1700.
If we want to draw more business and events, lets first make sure we keep the ones we have. And gt away from small thinking.