The organizers of Flint’s Buick Open announced Friday that 2006’s Championship raised $830,000 for Flint area charities. That brings the total to $8.8 million for the event.
The numbers are a reminder of just what kind of an impact a PGA Tour event can have on a community. Eight hundred thousand dollars is a large sum of money—especially to an economically depressed area such as Flint. And the charity figures don’t include other economic benefits, such as those reaped as tournament-goers patronize local restaurants, hotels, bars and shops.
Its no wonder that communities and tournaments that have been shafted by the PGA Tour—such as the BC Open and the International—are so distraught. It’s more than the idea that a world class sporting event and entertainment venue is leaving the communty. The loss of a PGA Tour event can significantly affect the lives of people at many different levels.