Reader Frank pointed out something that caught his eye in the story about Tucson receiving the WGC Match Play. Greg Hanson reported that:
"The Gallery is expected to pay something in the $500,000 to $750,000 range to play host to the Match Play Championships."
Contrast that with Bob Harig's story on the struggle to get a deal finalized between Innisbrook and the Suncoast Golf Classic (non-profit running the Chrysler event moving to the March Florida swing).
Deals between tournaments and their host venues vary. At the TPCs, tournaments get the course for free. But most tournaments pay a base rental fee and that may or may not include office space, rounds of golf for entertaining, catering, outings, etc. The tournament and the venue may share in revenue, such as concessions and merchandise sales.
But that has proved to be challenging. Tournament director Gerald Goodman said the event will pay a "significant" increase to Innisbrook for course rental in a new contract that would begin in 2007 and run through 2012.
The PGA Tour understandably prefers to go places that pay them to host an event, instead of paying places like Innisbrook or Riviera or Westchester substantial sums.
So The Gallery pays to host a WGC, while most venues are paid to host a PGA Tour event.
This trend, while understandable from a pure dollars and cents perspective, may explain why the Tour plays so many mediocre layouts in locations far away from population centers.