SARASOTA-  Another International Championship is expected to bring thousands of people and millions of dollars to Nathan Benderson Park. NBP won the bid to host the 2022 International Dragon Boat Federation’s Club Crew World Championship.

“It certainly will be a festive event,” SANCA President and CEO Stephen Rodriguez said. “So, it’s six days long of completion, obviously crews come in early to practice and start getting acclimated, so you will see thousands and thousands of paddlers out here.”

Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates CEO and President Stephen Rodriguez says the event will bring thousands of people to the park due to the size of the racing boats.

“There’s the standard size which seats 22 people,” Rodriguez said. “20 of them are paddling, ones steering and the other one is striking a drum, and there is a 10 paddle boat, so there is a standard and small size.”

The Park will also be hosting the 2021 US Dragon Boat Federation National Championship, and both events are expected to be big economic drivers for the community.

“We would estimate this is North of a $20 million dollar economic impact event,” Rodriguez said. “So it will be a huge impact for the community, but I’ll tell you it’s a lot more than just economic impact, it’s about how does this affect this sport in the United States.”

Rodriguez says Sarasota was able to win the bid because of the accessibility and amenities of Nathan Benderson.

“The fact that we’re here in the middle of a beautiful entertainment center,” Rodriguez said. “That we’re a close proximity to I-75, we have hotels close by, those are all factors they look at when selecting a community.”

The event will be open to the public and have food, music and vendors.