Pittsburgh Regatta Cancelled; Organizers Blame Event Management Company

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The 2019 edition of the Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta has been cancelled. The board of directors of the nonprofit organization that runs the event has alleged that LionHeart Event Group, a company that had produced the event for several years, did not secure mandatory insurance for the event. 

At press time LionHeart Event Group’s website was down. Meeting Spotlight has reached out to the company on social media for comment, and we will post an update when we hear back. 

For the past several years, LionHeart, a full-service event management and production company based in Pittsburgh, had been tasked with producing the regatta, including purchasing insurance, securing permits, acquiring sponsors, collecting sponsorship money, contracting with food vendors, working with the race boat organizations, and working with the city and others to provide security, representatives of the nonprofit said. 

“LionHeart had been giving regular updates to the regatta's board on the state of sponsorships and financial transactions related to the event,” the nonprofit said in a written statement announcing the event’s cancellation. “Late last week, the board learned for the first time that LionHeart had misrepresented the status of payments and insurance related to the event and had not met critical benchmarks to ensure it could go forward.”

Charles D. Scholz, member of the Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta Board of Directors and an attorney with Houston Harbaugh who is also representing the board, said that the organization has launched an investigation into what transpired, and that it will “pursue all means necessary to resolve this as we work to determine the future of this event.”

First held in 1978, the Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta is an annual motorboat and river festival named for the confluence of the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers. It is the largest inland regatta in the nation, organizers said. In past years, it has included free concerts, food vendors, water sports, dragon boat races and fireworks displays. 

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