Hurricane Irma’s weakened state didn’t cause tons of damage to area sports venues.
The Category 2 storm brought gusting winds and rain that caused damage
The finish tower, which was completed in early August at a $6 million price tag, for the 2017 World Rowing Championships, set to begin in less than two weeks, remained intact at Benderson Park.
Media and public relations manager for the 2017 championships Max Winitz released an official statement following Irma’s arrival and exit from Sarasota and Manatee counties.
“The organizing committee of the 2017 World Rowing Championships has started a complete assessment of the impact of Hurricane Irma,” the statement reads. “The OC is in constant communication with local and state officials to coordinate the recovery initiatives in the area as well as with the airports, hotels, transport partners and vendors.”
Sarasota Bradenton International Airport was scheduled to receive arriving flights as early as Monday night in Irma’s aftermath.
The reasoning was minimal damage, and that’s the general assessment from the World Rowing Championships statement.
“The Sarasota/Bradenton area did not come under the direct impact of the hurricane as predicted, thus, luckily, damage is limited,” the statement reads. “The area is still under movement restrictions until all services are restored and roadway damage is cleared. The 2017 World Rowing Championships staff is working diligently along with the support of FISA and USRowing to ensure a safe and successful World Championships.”
Further updates are expected in the next 24-to-48 hours in evaluating the damage Irma brought to the venue, located just south of University Parkway off North Cattleman Road.
On Sept. 1, VIP and Championship Pavilion seats became sold out. General admission and beach seating was still available for purchase.
The 2017 World Rowing Championships is an internationally-flavored event with 1,500 athletes expected to take part from 71 countries.
The event is scheduled for Sept. 23-Oct.1.
The World Rowing Championships wasn’t the only event or sports venue to receive limited damage from Hurricane Irma.
LECOM Park, the longtime home for Pittsburgh Pirates spring training baseball and where the Bradenton Marauders recently capped a 2017 Florida State League season as a Pirates affiliate franchise, also was left in good shape.
Palmetto High’s Harllee Stadium and the school received little damage, just some minor tree branches that fell.
Southeast High athletic director Allie Turley said there isn’t any updates yet from there, nor were there from the Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch or other high school football stadiums.