Dad Vail Regatta to be held in Philadelphia after all

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Dad Vail Regatta will be held in Philadelphia next year after all.

That announcement was made after a closed-door meeting with Philadelphia officials on Thursday morning.

That meeting involved Mayor Michael Nutter, Congressman Bob Brady, and Dad Vail Regatta officials.

It was the culmination of efforts that began soon after the Dad Vail organizers announced last month that they were moving the event to Rumson, New Jersey.

Rumson offered $250,000 to entice the event to move.

However, problems began when Rumson officials said the money was not guaranteed. Furthermore, it wanted race organizers to cover any costs incurred by the city as a result of hosting the event.

Meanwhile, Congressman Brady worked behind the scenes to convince the Dad Vail Regatta to change course.

"It's a tradition in the City of Philadelphia. Once we lose our traditions, we lose our identity, and I'm never going to sit back and let the City of Philadelphia lose its identity," Brady said.

The Nutter administration also went to work, saying the city never got a chance to match the Rumson offer.

We never stopped working on it. We were relentless in our efforts. Some of those efforts may have been visible, some of those efforts you never saw," Nutter said.

This is big news for the hometown teams, especially Temple, who's men's 8 have won the regatta 21 times. Coach Gavin White believes the "home water" advantage helps.

"I was ecstatic. I think the Dad Vail belongs in Philadelphia as far as I'm concerned," White said.

The city now has to go to work to raise money to help offset the cost.

The Dad Vail Regatta is the largest collegiate regatta in the US with over 100 colleges and universities from the United States and Canada taking part. For the last 56 years, it has been held on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia and has been drawing more than 12,000 visitors annually.

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philadelphia, pennsylvania, mayor michael nutter, dad vail regatta, local/state
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