Promoter offers apology and announces cancelation of the 2016 Gator Nationals.
Tampa, FL (SMA) – Competitors preparing for the 2016 Gator Nationals were shocked to receive an email on Saturday announcing the event cancelation. The email of April 30, 2016 read as follows:
“Subject – Cancellation of the 2016 Gator Nationals
It is with great regret and embarrassment that I must inform everyone the 2016 Gator Nationals in Tampa, Florida is cancelled.
This is very difficult for me to announce and I attempted to make every arrangement possible to not cancel the event, including moving the event to the hotel. However, I was informed, late yesterday, that the Marriott will NOT allow any martial arts competition due to recent fatal incidents. This may be only true for the Tampa hotel, but I was told by other Marriott’s they would not host karate competition.
Mid-week, I lost my host venue and immediately began to identify why, how it could be resolved, and if any alternatives existed. Adding to that issue was my hotel block ended on the 20th and I had to determine if new rooms could be added. I was told no, that all hotels were full and if there were available rooms they could not be used in my block.
These several events of the venue, hotel and personal reasons have left me without any options, except to terminate the Gator National. Not a decision I wanted to make and one that creates many conflicts for you the competitor, parent or friend; as well as NASKA and its promoters.
I have stopped on-line registration and will begin to issuing refunds immediately, with the expectation to have all refunds completed prior to mid-next week. I am also setting up a special link, on my web-site, where anyone can connect me regarding their refund.
I fully accept the friendship, and trust I may have been lucky enough to earned over the years is now destroyed. That alone, is my biggest embarrassment and regret; items and relationships I doubt can be repaired. I will miss everyone and wish them well on the NASKA circuit.
My goal is the immediate reimbursement of fees. NASKA is a great circuit with excellent promoters who work hard to provide competitors with a fair and enjoyable event. Please do not take my failure, with the Gator Nationals, as a sign against them. My case is unique where a late minute set of problems, including the inability to get additional rooms nights became the break in the foundation to topple the Gator Nationals.
I accept that all of you are mad with me and the Lane family in general. Once the problems surfaced, I worked on them inclusively without my family involvement. This is ALL ON ME. I will deeply miss the interaction and friendship developed over the years.
The Gator Nationals has experienced a number of set backs during its time on the NASKA World Tour. The event was previously canceled in 2014, a few months prior to the scheduled date. In an earlier year, the event was moved to different date shortly before it was to take place. Competitors have continued to show support for the event despite these inconveniences and the event returned to the NASKA World Tour after the 2014 cancelation.
The most recent email from the promoter seems to imply that the event will not be returning in the future but this has not been confirmed. Social media posts indicate that a number of competitors are still supportive of the event and would welcome it back on the competition circuit.
NASKA is the North American Sport Karate Association (www.naska.com)
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