About Nathan Benderson Park

Nathan Benderson Park is a unique 600-acre Sarasota County community park that features North America’s premier 2,000-meter sprint rowing course and a regatta center. The park, which began playing host to organized regatta competition in 2009, is a favorite on the triathlon circuit because of course visibility across virtually the entire facility, a state-of-the-art finish tower, and close proximity to an overwhelming number of hotels, restaurants, entertainment venues and more.

The park started as pastureland that became a borrow pit to build Interstate 75 in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and was later turned over to Sarasota County. Nathan Benderson, the founder of Benderson Development who would go on to be the park’s namesake, envisioned what was then Cooper Creek Park as a community park that could also host world championship events. A nonprofit organization, Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates (SANCA), was created to manage the park, and has been the linchpin of a successful public-private partnership.

More than $40 million has been committed to the facility’s development. The park has nine 2,000-meter racing lanes with a consistent depth — it’s considered the fairest course on the continent for regatta competition — straight shorelines, wave attenuation, starting huts and a cutting-edge boat maintenance and testing facility. As a result, the park is the perfect destination for a range of championship and recreational events, vendor opportunities, team training and development trips, and more.

NBP is open to the public and offers year-round recreational opportunities for all ages. Paved and shell trails around the competition lake are nearly 3.5 miles long, great for running, cycling, rollerblading and walking. Cooper Creek enters the east side of the lake and exits at the northwest corner, flowing into the Braden River. Fishing is bountiful in the park’s lakes, with bluegill, crappie, catfish, perch and more. Kayaks, canoes and paddleboards are regularly on the park’s water, and can also be rented at the park office. See more at nathanbendersonpark.org.