What is the best way to stay up-to-date on the race and schedule of events?

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!

Download the 2017 World Rowing Championship App, sponsored by Yapp.

  1. Open the link http://my.yapp.us/WRCH2017 on your mobile phone
  2. Download the App to your smartphone
  3. Open Yapp
  4. Select ‘Download an existing App’
  5. Turn on notifications


  • Although the VIP Finish Tower and Champion Pavilion tickets for Championship Weekend (September 30 – October 1) are sold out, you can still purchase tickets.
  • Tickets are selling fast, but you can still purchase tickets at www.wrch2017.com/tickets.  Buy your tickets in advance, as ticket prices will go up on-site.
  • Please print your ticket code beforehand or scanned directly on your smartphone with at the entry gate to Nathan Benderson Park.



 Can I still volunteer?

We are still looking for great volunteers!  Please visit http://wrch2017.com/volunteers/ to view open roles and shifts and to sign up!



When does the 2017 World Championships begin?

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. In a stunning display of local talent, 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 5:00 p.m. and the ceremony program begins at 7:00 p.m. EDT.  Come early to enjoy the Family Fun themed expo and Fan Fest, presented by Herald Tribune, 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 12 noon.


What time does competition start and end during the week?

  1. Competition runs from Sunday, September 24 – Sunday, October 1.
  2. Competition will begin at 10:00 a.m. EDT from Sunday, September 24 – Friday, September 29.
  3. On Saturday and Sunday, September 30 and October 1, racing will start at 9:00 a.m. EDT.
  4. Pending any delays, competition will conclude each day before 2:00 p.m. EDT.
  5. Para-rowing races will commence on the morning of Tuesday, September 26 with some para-rowing Finals (FINALS B) happening on Thursday, September 28.
  6. 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. EDT.
  7. The remaining Finals will take place over Championship weekend, September 30 and October 1.
  8. For a full race schedule, click here.
  9. For updates during the event week, be sure to download the mobile app to stay tuned to racing updates, weather delays, and special events. The App will be available for download after September 8.

What other activities will be available during the 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, presented by Herald Tribune, you’ll enjoy unique, local and interactive vendors, crafts, music, stage entertainment, food offerings and so much 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


Will there be food available for purchase?

Food and beverage can be purchased in the Fan Fest, Presented by Herald Tribune. There will be a wide variety of options to satisfy any hunger, thirst, or sweet tooth.


Your Guide to Championship Weekend

When you arrive at the event, or if you’re staying at one of the spectator hotel, you can pick up a FREE Official 2017 World Rowing Championship Commemorative Program Book.  It’s your comprehensive guide with all the information, fun facts, who to watch, and what to do!


Did you know we have a mobile app?

For updates during the event week, be sure to download the mobile app to stay tuned to racing updates, weather delays, and special events, fun contest giveaways, special appearances and more! The app will be available for download after September 8.


When and where will the awards ceremony take place?
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.


Are there separate fees for children?

Kids 8 years of age and under are free for general/ ground admission only.  They will require a ticket for all other seating ticket types. Children ages 2 and under DO NOT require a ticket.


How can I buy official merchandise from the 2017 World Rowing Championships?

The 2017 World Rowing Championships has you covered! Merchandise can be purchased on our website under the official merchandise tab. Here you will find an assortment of apparel options to meet your needs! Merchandise will also be available for purchase on-site during the event.


If I know someone racing, where should I meet my friend or family member? 
Before and after the race, family and friends of rowers can meet them at the Kiss and Cry area located in the south end of the Spectator Zone.


Where on the island is the very best place to watch the races?
Spectators won’t miss any of the competition in our Grandstand! Here, you will enjoy the race in the comfort of our covered seating and be just feet away from the athletes as they make their final push to cross the finish line.



What is the event address?

The address for the 2017 World Rowing Championships is:
5851 Nathan Benderson Circle
Sarasota, FL 34275


What is the spectator/ticket holder parking address?

North Parking Lot
201 University Town Center Drive
Sarasota, FL 34275

This lot is just north of Regatta Island and adjacent to the south end of the Mall at University Town Center.


 What airport should I fly into?

Located 8 miles from Nathan Benderson Park, Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport is the closest airport. Other options within an hour’s drive of Nathan Benderson Park are: Tampa International Airport, St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport, and Punta Gorda Airport. Orlando International Airport is located 2 hours away and Miami International Airport is 3 ½ hours away.


Is there public transportation?

The 2017 World Rowing Championships is teaming up with Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) and Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT) to bring our spectators to the event in a cost effective and eco-friendly way.  Bus service to the 2017 World Rowing Championships at Nathan Benderson Park is available near all of our designated spectator hotels.


The 2017 World Rowing Championships is proud to offer a Weeklong Pass for only $20 per person. Those 65 years and older can purchase a Weeklong Pass for only $10 per person.

Weeklong Bus Passes can also be purchased at these locations:

  • Downtown Sarasota Transfer Station:1525 1st Street, Sarasota, FL
  • SCAT Transit Administration: 5303 Pinkney Ave., Sarasota, FL
  • Cattlemen Road Station: 500 North Cattlemen Road, Sarasota, FL

Daily passes can also be purchased, but only on board the busses (cash only).
Depending on specific location, please keep in mind that bus service to/from Nathan Benderson Park can take 15-60 minutes. To map out routes, visit https://www.scgov.net/government/departments/scat-bus-service
The drop off station for the 2017 World Rowing Championships is the Cattlemen Road Bus Station, located at 500 North Cattlemen Road, Sarasota, Fl.
To purchase tickets and to learn more about the routes, please visit: http://wrch2017.com/spectators/transport-parking/


 Where should I stay?

The 2017 World Rowing Championships and Nathan Benderson Park have teamed up with HBC Event Services to offer discounted rates for hotels, vacation homes, and condo rentals for those attending the 2017 World Rowing Championships. To access the special discounted rates and browse the most convenient hotels closest to the venue, visit: http://2017wrchotels.com/.


Where do I park for the 2017 World Rowing Championship?

If you’re planning on driving your own vehicle to the 2017 World Rowing Championships, the spectator parking lot is located at 201 University Town Center Drive. This lot is just north of Regatta Island and adjacent to the south end of the Mall at University Town Center.
Ticket holder parking will be open from Saturday, September 23 through Sunday, October 1st.


What is the cost of parking?

Parking is $5 per vehicle – CASH only, and exact change is greatly appreciated.


Can I purchase a parking pass for the day or week in advance?

You can purchase both day and week passes in advance via our web site, http://wrch2017.com/spectators/transport-parking/ or at the same time that you purchase your tickets, https://tickets.wrch2017.com.
Daily pass is $5 and the week pass is $45.  Online passes are purchased via credit or debit cards.  You will receive an electronic parking pass with a QR code – please print this for your records and entry.  Place the parking pass on your dashboard.


What are the driving directions to the event parking lot?

North Parking Lot Address is 201 University Town Center Drive, Sarasota, FL 34243
Direction 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.


Direction 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.


How long is the walk from the parking 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.


Can I ride my bicycle the venue?

You may ride your bicycle to the venue and there is FREE Bicycle parking at three different locations surrounding Nathan Benderson Park (see map – link to map).  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.


Can I park along Cattlemen Drive?

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.

Are golf carts permitted?

Golf carts are not permitted.


Is there handicap parking on-site? And are locations ADA accessible? 

Tickets – Disabled guests may purchase reserved grandstand or general admission tickets however grandstand tickets are recommended.  Disabled guests will have access to a designated wheelchair seating location which will include one companion seat.  (Companion seating will require a reserved grandstand ticket)

 Parking – 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.



Will Cattlemen Road be closed?

Cattlemen Road will remain open during all 9-days of competition.


What are the road closures scheduled in and around Nathan Benderson Park?

For safety and security, beginning Wednesday, September 20 through Sunday 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 westbank, 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 till 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.

Will Nathan Benderson Park reopen to the public once competition is done for the day?

Yes, except for Regatta Island and Nathan Benderson Park’s west side foot/ bicycle trail. Everything else, including the playground and the road will reopen to the public 90 minutes after competition concludes.


Patron Screening

  • 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.

What items can I bring into the venue? What items can I NOT bring into venue?*


Allowed Items

  • Diaper bags and backpacks no larger than 15” x 13” x 5”
  • Service animals
  • Strollers & mobility aids
  • Food and beverages required for medical reasons and infant food


Prohibited Items

  • 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 by the 2017 WRCH, FISA, or Nathan Benderson Park.


Prohibited Weapons

  • 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.


2017 WRCH Security reserves the right to deem any other item inappropriate.
No prohibited items will be accepted at the gate for safekeeping and holding. Please leave all prohibited items secured in your vehicle.


* Subject to change at the discretion of the Host Committee


What should I expect as far as noise coming from Nathan Benderson Park?

  • Throughout the day on Saturday, September 23, residents may hear some music, crowd noise and public-address announcements coming from Nathan Benderson Park
  • On the evening of September 23, a beautiful fireworks display will light up the night sky over Nathan Benderson Park during our free and communal Opening Ceremony, which will conclude no later than 9:30 p.m.




  • The infrastructure for the 2017 World Rowing Championships, such as the grandstand and tents, will begin 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.



For general questions and updates during the event week (9/20 – 10/1), visit our web site, get updates on our mobile app, or call our general hotline at (941) 200-3642