So, it looks as if the Dad Vail Regatta isn’t leaving the Schuylkill after all. Terrific.
But city officials and organizers of the collegiate rowing event still need to iron out the financial problems that had threatened to send it to New Jersey.
Mayor Nutter, U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, and local businessman Herb Lotman convinced organizers that the Dad Vail should not move to Rumson, N.J. It seems earlier reports that Rumson had promised the Dad Vail $250,000 to jilt this city were wrong.
In fact, Brady pointed out that a letter of understanding between the parties said that Rumson was not guaranteeing any specific allocation and that the Dad Vail would be responsible for any borough expenses due to the race.
That’s pretty much the same deal Philadelphia has been giving the Dad Vail for 55 years. Nutter says the city will work with organizers of the race, held each May, to keep costs low. The city charges the event for police, trash collection, and other services.
The Dad Vail isn’t the only recurring event that has balked at those costs. The city is trying to make ends meet in a recession and doesn’t want to play favorites. Even so, it must be mindful of the significance of those festivals and parades that have become part of the city’s fabric.
The best solution for the Dad Vail and other Philadelphia traditions is more private support. A 60 percent decrease in local corporate sponsorships was the biggest reason that the race flirted with Rumson, which, by the way, did get $100,000 for the event from a resident of the borough.