Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Contrast of Wealth at the USGA

The USGA is an active partner is many of golf's philanthropic causes. They are involved with the First Tee, Play Golf America, and they give grant money in the order of millions per year for various golf causes to grow the sport. (For the good of the game, remember?)

Here's the latest example of that:

The United States Golf Association (USGA) has awarded 143 grants totaling $2,650,935 to support golf programs across the nation for economically-disadvantaged juniors and individuals with disabilities. The grant funds will be used for instruction, golf course and range access, equipment, transportation and the construction of accessible golf facilities.

The USGA has awarded more than $62.5 million since the Association implemented the Grants Initiative, "For the Good of the Game," in 1997.

Among the grantees, my local First Tee program. Good to see. All of the grantees are listed, with profiles of several, if you are interested.

Now, contrast that kind of giving to the kind of return that Torrey Pines and San Diego will see as thanks for hosting the Open. This is in the sidebar of the piece on the USGA's corporate partners in the Union-Tribune:

Most of the return will come from an economic impact estimated in the tens of millions of dollars: national television exposure, tourist spending, taxes collected from sales and hotel rooms, etc.

People would be coming to San Diego anyway in droves because the weather is perfect, but ok, I'll bite. This from golf.com:

The 2008 U.S. Open will [inject] some $100 million into the local economy. "And that's probably a conservative estimate," says Peter Bevacqua, chief business officer at the USGA.

Now to the real dollars (and back to the Union-Tribune):

The city also will receive $500,000 as part of its contract with the Friends of Torrey Pines, which negotiated the U.S. Open lease for the city-owned course.

The $500,000 is considered compensation for lost city revenue because of discounted or lost greens fees and the use of city parking spaces, such as at Qualcomm Stadium. All or part of the North Course will be shut down until September to make way for corporate hospitality and then recover from the wear and tear.

The Friends of Torrey Pines will pay reimbursements up to $350,000 for public safety services (police, traffic control, etc.). The Friends also agreed to pay up to $350,000 on course work related to the Open.

The Friends reported they would receive $5.37 million from the Open, largely from rent payments and corporate hospitality shares through the USGA. Most of that – $3.4 million – will go back to the families and businesses that paid for the renovation of the South Course in 2001. They have said they will contribute that money to charity.

The rest will cover additional expenses, a $50,000 “future championships fund” and $535,000 toward the replacement of the irrigation system at the Balboa Park Golf Course.
In effect, $5.75M for Torrey for an event that will make the year for the USGA - probably in the area of $80M. (That's a guess based upon conversations I have had over time with current or ex-USGA people.) San Diego is basically getting a dollar for dollar proposition.

The amount for Torrey and its Friends is basically the same amount of money that they give out in grants every year minus a million. I don't know if you can say that is a good deal for Torrey and San Diego or not, but I'll leave that to you to judge.

No comments: