There are various ways to assess the impact and reach of this summer’s US Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla.
Start with the 150 hours of total TV and digital coverage that reached 177 countries and territories, including 25 million viewers in the United States alone – a glamorous shot perfect for La Jolla and the San Diego area.
Consider the nearly $ 3.5 million the US Golf Association donated to the city to cover the costs of the tournament, which Jon Rahm won on June 20.
The city’s contract with the USGA required the course to remain closed for the first two days of the following week, allowing for additional tournament days for weather delays or extended play. When the leaving sheets for the following Wednesday appeared online, it was like throwing a sirloin steak in a shark tank.
“It took 45 seconds to fill out the entire tee sheet for the day,” said Scott Bentley, assistant manager of the city’s golf division. “We are talking from 6:15 am until 6:00 pm.”
The USGA paid the city $ 3,469,256, according to a public documents request from The San Diego Union-Tribune.
This was done in the form of six rent checks to cover, in part, the closure of the south course before the tournament and the north course as it transformed into a driving range, media center, parking lot and more. Again. The USGA also paid $ 450,000 to compensate for public safety work and permits.
Revenue sharing was included in the final total in the form of 20 percent of hospitality packages and 10 percent of hotel revenue, amounting to $ 269,256.
This year’s multi-million dollar total eclipsed the $ 500,000 San Diego received to host the US Open at Torrey Pines in 2008.
13 years ago, USGA payments weren’t nearly enough to cover the loss of money caused by school closings. The 2021 tournament generated positive income, in addition to regional tourism impacts.
Hosting an Open cannot be measured in dollars and cents, however. The incredible finish orchestrated by Tiger Woods in 2008, for example, delivered a marketing boon.
“Interest and worldwide demand for the course has skyrocketed,” city spokesman Tim Graham said. “[Hosting again] keeps the Torrey Pines Golf Course at the forefront of the golf world.
Get the weekly La Jolla Light delivered to your inbox
News, reports and sports on La Jolla, every Thursday for free
You may occasionally receive promotional content from La Jolla Light.
Although the city has covered its expenses and more this year, the share of hospitality has fallen far below expectations. Natasha Collura, executive director of the city’s special events group, said in a June 22 email that a request was sent to the USGA because the money was “not near the level expected.” .
The city estimated before the COVID-19 pandemic that a normal US Open would net San Diego $ 1.3 million to $ 1.7 million from hospitality. Then, COVID limitations delayed attendance.
“Incredible to see it all come together”
The players and officials of the USGA were all moved by the conditions of play. The course has become one of the stars of the Open.
In 2008, “one of the big concerns was the condition of the golf course,” Bentley said. “We had never done an Open before, and being a muni[cipal course], they had a lot of concerns about the condition of the course.
“We have changed our agronomic practices a lot, so the courses are in much better condition than in 2008. This year, they had very few problems.
It was a success given that the golf division – like other groups in the city – faced downsizing due to COVID.
“People were surprised that we were successful because we were understaffed,” said Bentley. “We had lost around 30% of our maintenance employees. All spring, while preparing, we jostled each other. It was amazing to see it all come together. “
Despite the sparkling ballot, there are concerns about the date or return of the tournament.
A Golf summary A story titled “Why Torrey Pines is a Possible Farewell to the Age of Real US Open Public Classes” explained a shift in USGA thinking about reducing the number of public classes to increasing windows for them. basic historical prices.
Although USGA officials have hinted that Torrey Pines would likely be included in a shortlist that has shrunk, questions swirl.
“I am very optimistic we have a good chance,” said Bentley. “They say they listen to the players, and the players were happy. We produced another momentous event and a great finish. San Diego is a beautiful city with wonderful weather.
“I don’t know why he wouldn’t come back.” ??