Slide the City, a Utah-based entertainment company, has announced plans to create a 1,000-foot water slide out of the N Boulevard Bridge in Tampa. The water slide is scheduled to open on May 14, in conjunction with a one-day block party near the Hillsborough River. The block party will be from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the empty lots next to the historic Armature Works building on the river. Slide the City will handle parking with support from private lot owners.
Donna McCallister, special event coordinator for the city of Tampa, recommended the N Boulevard Bridge, which crosses the Hillsborough River in front of Blake High School, for the event because of the incline. The bridge is already closed to traffic from Cypress to Cass streets as work crews install a new water pipeline and new drainage improvements in the area.
Last year, the company set up similar slip-and-slide events in 75 cities. However, the water slide in Tampa will be unique. Spencer Hunn, owner of Slide the City, said, “This is the first bridge slide we’ve ever done.”
The company must sell at least 4,000 tickets for the event to be financially viable, so it has started early bird registration for tickets at slidethecity.com. Through April 8, early prices for the tickets are $10 for a single slide and $25-$45 for unlimited sliding in a two hour or four hour block. As the event nears, the cost for pre-ordering tickets will gradually rise. On the day of the event, tickets will be $20 for a single ride and $45-$65 for unlimited rides in those two hour and four hour blocks.
There are some restrictions for riders to be aware of. Sliders must be at least 5 years old and 46 inches tall. Riders will go down the slide in an inner tube, restricted to single sliders only. Lap riding is not allowed. Single-ticket riders can either bring their own inner tube or buy one starting at $5, while unlimited ride tickets include an inner tube. There will be a family lane set up so smaller kids won’t be riding with rowdy adults.
Unfortunately, some of the Slide the City events scheduled for last year were canceled, notably in Virginia, Oregon and Washington. Some were canceled due to issues with selling enough tickets or problems promoting the events. Others were canceled because the company was unable to get the required permits in time. However, the vast majority of the company’s events have been successful and there have been no major injuries reported from the company’s water slides.