The newly formed “Sarasota Sharks Inc” took over Selby Aquatic Center almost completely blocked access to the facility
SWFL Water Polo
This page attempts to provide public information regarding the future of Selby Aquatic Center. This issue is much bigger than a water polo organization wanting to become a tenant at this pool.
The Selby Aquatic Center, a 70-meter outdoor competition facility and water park, was originally part of the Sarasota YMCA. The pool, diving boards, and water park were used by YMCA members, community groups and schools, the public, and the Sarasota Sharks Swim Team. With the dissolution of the Sarasota YMCA, Sarasota County has been working with the incumbent tenant, the Sarasota Sharks Swim Team under a new nonprofit similarly named Sarasota Sharks, Inc. who positioned themselves to enter into an exclusive lease of Selby Aquatic Center as the YMCA announced their default. The Sarasota County Commissioners agreed to the arrangement as they thought they must save the Sharks to save Selby. at the time to be what was right: to save Selby they thought they must save the Sharks.
It is clear there is an inherent conflict of interest for the newly created organization called Sarasota Sharks, Inc. to steward our County’s resource which is a high level competitive Aquatic Center as the Sharks’ mission is solely to support the sport of Swimming which is also reflected in their own mission statement and the draft lease with the county. Further, the lease allows for a public tax contribution of over $8.6 million over the life of the lease, and a rental cost for the land of just $10/year. Consequently, this Agreement as it stands, allows a private swim club to take over a county facility for virtually their own exclusive benefit and certainly their exclusive profit.