North Parking Lot
201 University Town Center Drive
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• This lot is just north of Regatta Island and adjacent to the south end of the Mall at University Town Center.
• Please display your VIP ticket parking pass on the dashboard of your vehicle. You do not have to pay the $5 fee.
Directions to the World Rowing Championships parking from the NORTH:
• From I-75 take University Parkway, Exit 213.
• Drive WEST on University Parkway approx. 0.3 miles
• Turn SOUTH (left) onto North Cattlemen Road (traffic light).
• Drive 0.2 miles, turn EAST (left) on University Town Center Drive (traffic light).
• Drive 0.7 miles, parking lot will be on your left.
• Follow Parking Staff instructions.
Directions to the World Championships from the SOUTH:
• From I-75 take Fruitville Road, Exit 210.
• Drive WEST on Fruitville Road. approx. 0.2 miles.
• Turn NORTH (right) on North Cattlemen Road (traffic light).
• Drive approx. 3.4 miles, turn EAST (right) on University Town Center Drive (traffic circle).
• Parking lot will be on your right.
• Follow Parking Staff instructions.
Getting to the venue:
From the parking lot, plan on a 5-8 min. walk from the parking lot to the venue. If you have mobility issues, there will be a limited number of complimentary shuttles available that will take guests from the parking lot to the main entrance and back.
There is no overnight parking.
No street parking is allowed on either Southbound or Northbound Cattlemen Road. All vehicles will be ticketed and towed by the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office.
For safety reasons, there will be no parking available on Regatta Island. All guest vehicles will park in the World Rowing north lot adjacent to UTC Mall. A shuttle will also be available from the north lot for those guests that will have difficulty walking to the main entrance.
Golf carts are not permitted.
Riding a bicycle
• You may ride your bicycle to the venue and there is FREE Bicycle parking at three different locations surrounding Nathan Benderson Park. However, bicycles will NOT be allowed inside the venue.
• Official country team coaches, with accreditation, will be permitted to ride bicycles along the coach’s trail and on the island to coach their Olympic athletes.
Cattlemen Road will remain open during all nine days of competition.
For safety and security, through October 1, the following will be closed to public vehicle and bicycle traffic:
1. Transportation plaza, the main entrance and exit to the park, will be closed to public vehicle and bike traffic.
2. The west bank, with exception of the Championship Row/Suite Area, will re-open 90 minutes after competition ends.
3. Athletes Drive at Honore will be closed. Ticket holders on foot or bicycles will be allowed access based on their daily ticket.
4. Athletes Drive at Cattlemen will be closed from park open until 90 mins after competition. The parking lot will re-open 90 minutes after competition.
Effective Saturday, September 23 through Sunday, October 1, the following will be closed, with the following public re-opening:
1. World Championship Drive, the playground and adjacent parking lot will be closed to the public – vehicles, bicycles, all non-ticket holder pedestrian traffic. These will re-open to the public 90 min. after competition. 2. South and West foot trail and bike path will be closed, only during competition, and re-opened to the public 90 min. after competition.
At the Venue
• All guests, including children, must consent to a search of their person and anything they are carrying, via metal detector screening, inspection of bags, and security wands.
• Failure to consent to such search will result in denial of entry into the event.
• Guests needing special accommodations should notify staff when arriving at the main entrance.
• Diaper bags and backpacks no larger than 15” x 13” x 5”
• Service animals
• Strollers & mobility aides
• Food and beverages required for medical reasons and infant food
• No Weapons (firearms regardless of permit, knives, any other item deemed dangerous)
• No fireworks or explosives of any kind
• No bags, backpacks or briefcases larger than 15” x 13” x 5”
• No signs, posters or banners (flags of participating countries are permitted without flagpoles)
• No lasers of any kind
• No outside food, beverages or coolers (except for medical or infant needs)
• No animals (service animals are permitted)
• No lawn chairs or folding chairs
• No bicycles are allowed inside spectator area
• No roller skates, scooters, hover boards, Segways or skateboards
• No drones or other remote-controlled electronics
• No selfie sticks or tripods
• No horns of any kind
• No umbrellas
• No illegal drugs and substances
• No balls, toys, Frisbees or sports equipment
• No other items deemed unlawful, dangerous or disruptive
• Guests, including law enforcement personnel not present in an official capacity, are prohibited from bringing weapons into the event. Weapons include, but are not limited to, the following: firearms, explosives, stun guns, handcuffs, brass knuckles, sticks, clubs, batons, martial arts instruments, pepper spray, tear gas, and knives with blades over 2 inches in length.
• Guests found in possession of the above-mentioned items will be asked to remove the item from the event or dispose of it. Guests who refuse to comply will be evicted from the event and may be subject to arrest.
General Event Information
Saturday, September 23
Opening Ceremony (FREE)
Similar to the stunning spectacle that takes place before the Olympic Games, the Opening Ceremony at the World Rowing Championships commemorates the start of the marquee regatta, while paying homage to the nearly 2,000 participating rowers and the dozens of countries they represent. The Opening Ceremony will tell the story of Florida’s Suncoast and how it became the amazing coastal and cultural community it is today. The event will conclude with a fireworks display.
The is FREE to the public, no ticket is required. Opening Ceremony seating will open at 5 p.m. and the ceremony program begins at 7 p.m. Come early to enjoy the Family Fun themed expo and Fan Fest and cheer on youth from around the region as they train and compete in the opening regatta event, the Youth Regional Challenge. Fan Fest and the Youth Regional Challenge will begin at noon.
Competition start and end times
• Competition runs from Sunday, September 24 – Sunday, October 1.
• Competition will begin at 10 a.m. from Sunday, September 24 – Friday, September 29.
• On Saturday and Sunday, September 30 and October 1, racing will start at 9 a.m.
• Pending any delays, competition will conclude each day before 2 p.m.
• Para-rowing races will commence on the morning of Tuesday, September 26 with some para-rowing finals (FINALS B) happening on Thursday, September 28.
• The first of the major finals (FINALS A) with medal presentations will take place on the afternoon of Friday, September 29 around 12:15 p.m.
• The remaining finals will take place over championship weekend, September 30 and October 1.
• For updates during the event week, be sure to download the mobile app to stay tuned to racing updates, weather delays, and special events.
Activities at the 2017 World Rowing Championships
Each day of the 2017 World Rowing Championships will have a different theme with on-site vendors reflective of that day’s theme. At the Fan Fest, you’ll
enjoy unique, local and interactive vendors, crafts, music, stage entertainment, food offerings and more.
• Saturday, September 23: Family Fun Day
• Sunday, September 24: Tech Day
• Monday, September 25: Eco Day
• Tuesday, September 26: Farmers Market Day
• Wednesday, September 27: Military/First Responders Appreciation Day
• Thursday, September 28: Golden Ages
• Friday, September 29: Local Attractions Day
• Saturday, September 30: Boating and Fishing Day
• Sunday, October 1: Health and Wellness Day
Food and Beverage
Food and beverage can be purchased in the Fan Fest.
Your Guide to Championship Weekend
When you arrive at the event, or if you’re staying at one of the spectator hotels, you can pick up a FREE Official 2017 World Rowing Championship Commemorative Program Book.
The Award Ceremony
Award ceremony will take place during Championship Weekend, Friday, September 29 – Sunday, October 1. Schedule will be updated during the week and available via the mobile app.
Staying in the know
Download the official 2017 World Rowing Championship App to stay current with festivities planned for Opening Ceremony, full list of vendors in the Fan Fest, food trucks, local entertainment, special appearances, race schedule and results and more.
Cool things to know
• The infrastructure for the 2017 World Rowing Championships, such as the grandstand and tents, began going up on Monday, August 28.
• First time since 1994 the event is being held in the United States.
• Nathan Benderson Park is the only FISA Grade A course in North America.
• 1,700 delegates from 70 countries participating.
• $25 million economic impact.
• Nearly 50 team and spectator hotels.
• 2,000 volunteers.
• 60,000 meals for our athletes coming from four different caterers and the full-service hotels.
• 12,000-15,000 hotel room nights booked.
• 165 tents will be on-site at the time of the event.
• There will be over 100 vendors on-site during the event, including food trucks and businesses selling products.