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Members of the U.S. Canoe/Kayak team practice at National Whitewater Center

USA Canoe and Kayak
USA Canoe and Kayak
Michael Tomsic

MICHAEL TOMSIC of 90.7 reported on 28 March 2014 “The U.S. National Whitewater Center is hosting races this weekend that'll determine who represents the U.S. Canoe and Kayak team at this year’s world championships.”

According to Tomsic, This is a “key event” for the U.S. National Whitewater Center (USNWC) due to “Its share of financial troubles since opening in Charlotte North Carolina (Mecklenburg County) in 2006.

The (USNWC) “Has emerged from those troubles with the help of taxpayer money,” according to Tomsic.

“Mecklenburg County and other local governments agreed to contribute up to $12 million to help the Whitewater Center get through its first seven years of business. And each year, six local governments have combined to pay the center about $1.7 million.”

The question is should Mecklenburg County and the other local governments make that seventh and final payment or has (USNWC) become solvent enough to thrive without further assistance?

Tomsic reports “Mecklenburg County officials say the facility is doing well enough that they shouldn't have to make their final payment.”

Dave Hepp, Paddlesports Director, for U.S. National Whitewater Center Inc. appears to agree.

“Right now, there's only the guys training for the race out here now, the athletes,” he said earlier this week, as the athletes practiced for this weekend’s races, which could earn them a spot at the World Championships.”

However, world-class kayakers aren’t the primary reason this facility is here.

“Once we turn the water on, it's open to everybody,” according to Hepp.

He then confirmed, “About 750,000 people came to the Whitewater Center last year to kayak, see a concert or do other activities, according to the center.”

However, beyond this point “Executives from the Whitewater Center refused to discuss financials while the center is still in discussions with the county about this point.”

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