Both the Philadelphia Inquirer and that city’s Daily News are reporting today that the Dad Vail Regatta‘s move to Rumson next year may not happen.
From the Daily News:
Officials with the nation’s largest intercollegiate rowing competition – facing new questions about its planned move from the Schuylkill to Rumson, N.J., next spring – are now planning to meet Mayor Nutter and U.S. Rep. Bob Brady tomorrow to talk about keeping the popular event in Philadelphia in 2010 after all.
The mayoral sit-down was arranged last night during an emergency meeting of the Dad Vail Regatta Organizing Committee – the same group that stunned city officials earlier this fall with the announcement that the rowing classic would move to the Monmouth County town for the May 2010 event.
A source close to the regatta said that moving the race to Rumson was a larger logistical challenge than had been thought and that Brady and Nutter’s recent involvement had demonstrated that the city was dedicated to keeping it here.
The Inky, meanwhile, reports that the move from the Schuylkill River to the Navesink, “seemingly a done deal when Rumson Borough approved the matter last week – may not be a done deal after all.”
The paper also says that some members of the regatta’s organizing committee met last night to discuss the deal with Rumson.
Yesterday, [Pennsylvania congressman Bob] Brady’s office issued a statement with a headline that read in part: “Move to Rumson not a done deal.”
The statement said Brady asked the mayor yesterday to grant the Dad Vail Organizing Committee’s request to hold open the 2010 Dad Vail dates.
At the same time, the Inky reports that Dad Vail chairman Jack Galloway told the newspaper yesterday morning that organizers had no intention of pulling out of the deal.
He acknowledged that there had been some concern among committee members about the logistics of getting crew teams and their equipment into Rumson, but they were not enough to overturn the planned move.
“This was evaluated a long time ago. The regatta will be in Rumson,” said Galloway, who did not attend last night’s board meeting.
Members of the organizing committee met for nearly three hours last night. They declined to comment as they left the Boathouse Row.
Rumson Mayor John Ekdahl tells the Inky that private boat clubs on the river have offered to set aside storage space for some 500 vessels, as required by the race.
He also says he’s confident that local contributors will enable the town to pay the $250,000 it pledged to the race committee for the right to host the event, which is said to draw 3,000 collegiate rowers and some 12,000 spectators.
A $100,000 down payment of that amount was put up by gazillionaire Wall Street trader and Two River Times owner Mickey Gooch.
The Philly newspapers have common ownership.