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Sign of the times, cancel boating event

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Old 10-26-2009, 09:56 AM
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Default Sign of the times, cancel boating event

I realize that this is not generally the type of boating many of us do; however, it is indicative of the times. A few interesting things it the article. Notice the TV coverage and the prize money.

Here is the article from this mornings local paper the Herald Tribune, Port Charlotte, edition.


Redfish Cup fishing series is canceled, Economic climate forces organizers to put tournament on ice

By CHRIS GERBASI, Correspondent

Published: Monday, October 26, 2009 at 1:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, October 25, 2009 at 8:22 p.m.

MANASOTA KEY - While a revitalized Punta Gorda is attracting more and more events to the area, one mainstay is leaving town.

The Redfish Cup fishing series was canceled after organizers announced that the entire 2010 tour would be shelved because of current economic conditions.

"A variety of factors went into this decision," said Cama Poffenberger, spokeswoman for Career Sports & Entertainment, which produced the tournament.

"The main reason is the economy, which affected the state of the Redfish Cup just like it's affecting our daily lives."

Punta Gorda was the only permanent stop in the series, hosting the event in six of the cup's seven seasons. The saltwater fishing tournament attracted more than 100 top anglers from around the country. The series included four events plus a championship finale.

Poffenberger said the announcement even caught company employees by surprise. All signs indicate that the May stop in Punta Gorda was successful.

The three-day festival drew about 6,000 fans and generated an estimated $320,000 in direct spending for Charlotte County, according to the Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau. The tournament generated an estimated $1.4 million for county businesses over the past four years.

"It will definitely affect hotels, restaurants and associated businesses," Jennifer Huber, the bureau's public relations manager, said of the cancellation.

Before the Punta Gorda competition last spring, tournament general manager Steve Levi said that participation was up and sponsorship was strong. About $146,000 in prize money was awarded.

But Poffenberger said the cup lacked a title sponsor this season and that contributed to the decision to cancel the tour.

CS&E, based in Atlanta, produces other fishing series for ESPN television, and hopes to bring the cup back in 2011, but the future is in doubt.

"It's too early to speculate. Of course, we hope to return," Poffenberger said.

The tour also enjoyed tremendous media coverage, which helped build awareness of Punta Gorda as a destination spot, said Becky Bovell, director of the visitor bureau. This year's event was broadcast on ESPN2 into an estimated 650,000 households. The team of Jeff Totten of Englewood and Ozzie Lessinger of Fort Myers won the tourney, based at Laishley Park Municipal Marina.

Kevin Broussard and his father, Cajun Phil Broussard, won this year's championship, in Pensacola in late September. That will air Nov. 8 on ESPN2 from at 11 a.m. and on Nov. 14 at 8:30 a.m.

Last edited by AppSysCons; 10-26-2009 at 10:06 AM.
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