Members of the borough council questioned Dad Vail organizing committee president J.R. Hanna about the logistics of staging the event, which is said to attract some 3,000 athletes and another 12,000 spectators to its present home on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia.
Hanna said it is “urgent” that the council act as early as this month in order for race preparations to begin, the Press reports.
From the Press:
Council members had questions about the size of crowds, the numbers of teams, logistical issue and control of the event.
“Our concern is making sure your interests are the same as ours,” said Councilman Shaun Broderick. “The other question is are you prepare to give us veto power over what happens on borough property?”
Some features of the Philadelphia event will happen in Rumson, Hanna said. Features such as a beer garden set up on the Philadelphia course will not happen in the borough because food and drink will be available in downtown restaurants, he said.
Councilman Benjamin Day asked for statistics on number of spectators in the past and how much police and emergency medical service personnel are needed and how many people have been bused in from off site.
Main spectator viewing areas would be from the Oceanic Bridge and Victory Park, Hanna said. Borough officials have asked Monmouth County for permission to close the Oceanic Bridge for the two-day event. Regatta officials also have used large “Jumbotron” television screens in the past and may utilize them here.
There were also questions about whether team members drinking alcohol. Hanna said that the Regatta Committee polices the teams, which are aware of the penalties of being barred from the school competing in next year’s competition.
“You’ll find they’re a very clean-cut crew,” said John Galloway, Dad Vail chairman. “They only have time to study and row. Social life come last.”