Thursday, March 05, 2009

If attending the Masters tournament is on your bucket list, don't sleep
on this year's tournament. Not only will you get to watch gripping story lines unfold -- Tiger's return, Phil's resurgence
, Rory's debut, Ogilvy's ascension -- but the recession is making it
easier than ever to land Masters tickets and accommodations in town,
according to Bloomberg.com's Michael Buteau. Tickets for this year’s tournament, which have a face value
of $200 for all four competition rounds, have sold for an average
of $3,377 on Ebay's Stubhub, down from $3,930 in 2008.    
Sean Pate, a spokesman for Stubhub, said he expects prices
to keep falling as the tournament approaches.
The company has sold “hundreds” of one-day passes for an
average price of $400, Pate said. Tickets for Monday and Tuesday
practice rounds have a face value of $36. Wednesday tickets cost
$41. Stubhub has sold just four of the approximately 100 four-day
“competition round” passes it has listed.
Even
last year, Augusta merchants were distressed over fewer customers in
restaurants and bars. (No reservations were required at most places and
some restaurants sat half-empty during prime tournament nights.) This year
promises to be much worse. After the Northern Trust Open scandal,
companies not only have to worry about the bottom line but also how it
looks to be entertaining big shots at the nation's most exclusive
sporting event while laying off people at home. “This is very different than any other year,” said Steve
Parry, owner of the 1018 Club, a corporate hospitality house less
than 500 yards (457 meters) from the main entrance of Augusta National Golf Club. “The companies that would have brought 50
people are down to maybe 20. And those who sent 20 are down to
zero.”    

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