Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hosting a PGA Tour event must be a huge windfall for any city, right? Wrong. While the Farmers Insurance Open will raise about $2 million for local charities, the city of San Diego will lose about $200,000 on the event.
How does that happen? The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that it's lost greens fees and spent money on overtime costs and turf maintenance. The non-profit Century Club negotiates a deal with the city to use Torrey Pines, and this year there wasn't enough cash to cover the city's costs. The indirect benefits to the city, an estimated $25 million in local tourism, will offset that lost cash. But the city's finances have been under water for years and
critics want to know why the Century Club can cough up $2 million for charity but not another $200,000 to cover the city's costs.
Because of the tournament’s local benefits, Century Club officials say the city should not expect full reimbursement.
"We bring close to $30 million in economic impact to the city of San Diego every year," said Tom Wilson, the club's executive director. "In fact, if you look at the amount we pay versus the amount of economic impact we bring, the ratio is unbelievable. It’s almost 100-to-1."

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