SBD/Issue 234/Events & Attractions

Walk-up Crowds Help Solheim Cup Draw Largest Attendance Ever

Solheim Cup Sets Records In Attendance,
Merchandise Sales And Web Traffic
The Solheim Cup this past week resulted in record attendance, merchandise sales and Web traffic for the biennial Ryder Cup-style ladies competition, which concluded yesterday with a U.S. win over Europe at Rich Harvest Farms outside Chicago. Total attendance from Monday through Sunday was 120,100, besting the previous mark of 103,000 set in ‘07, largely because of the walk-up crowd estimated at 20% of total attendance. The on-site merchandise tent posted more than $1M in branded items. Meanwhile, based on preliminary numbers, LPGA.com, which hosted the official Solheim Cup page, drew nearly 6.5 million page views during the week, up 205% compared to the '07 event in Sweden and up 53% from '05, the last time it was staged in the U.S. The site drew 517,000 weekly unique visitors, up 141% and 89% from the previous two events. The online leaderboard attracted 4.3 million page views up 378% and 92%, respectively. The Solheim Cup page on LPGA.com recorded 543,000 page views, up 248% from 2007. The U.S. accounted for 57% of traffic to LPGA.com, followed by Great Britain (13%), Sweden (9%), Canada (5%) and Norway (3.2%) (Jon Show, SportsBusiness Journal).

ON TO THE NEXT TEE: ESPN.com’s Jason Sobel wrote the LPGA “isn’t in a very good place right now,” but “none of that seemed to matter” at the Solheim Cup. For the LPGA to “reverse the current trend of backlash against the tour, it needs more performances” like the one this weekend from Michelle Wie and her teammates -- “especially the seven others born in 1981 or later who represent both the game’s present and future” (ESPN.com, 8/23).

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