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PGA Tour VP Duke Butler puts Seattle's chances of becoming a Tour stop in '99 at "about" 90% and says the search for corporate sponsors is under way, according to Craig Smith of the SEATTLE TIMES. Butler: "We're going to go straight forward on the Seattle path at least until June 1 or so. If we have corporate support by then, we're definitely coming there for an August event in 1999." The Tour is looking for a single sponsor to step forward with about $2M for title sponsorship, or it would search for "three or four" presenting sponsors (SEATTLE TIMES, 3/18).
The St. Louis Convention & Visitors Center estimates that this weekend's NCAA Men's Midwest Regional Tournament should generate about $2.5M in fan spending, according to Dan Hieb of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. Between 10,000 and 11,000 visitors are expected for the tournament, meaning each out-of-town fan will spend $227-$250 on hotel rooms, dinners and travel once in St. Louis (POST-DISPATCH, 3/19). HOPES FOR A FINAL FOUR: St. Louis is one of five cities in the running to hold the Final Four in either 2003, 2004 or 2005, and the "success of the regional will help" the NCAA make its decision. Other cities being considered are Atlanta, Indianapolis, New Orleans and San Antonio. A nine- member NCAA selection committee will pick the Final Four sites in June, and three of those nine are in St. Louis this week (Christopher Carey, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 3/19).