SBD/Issue 93/Events & Attractions

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  • San Diego Expects To Lose $200,000 On This Week's PGA Tour Event

    PGA Event Has Been Money-Losing Endeavor
    For San Diego For More Than Four Decades
    The city of San Diego "expects to lose $200,000" on this week's PGA Tour Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, "stemming from unrecouped greens fees, staff overtime and turf maintenance costs," according to Brent Schrotenboer of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE. The event has been a "money-losing endeavor for the city since it was first hosted by the Century Club at Torrey Pines more than four decades ago," and the $200,000 the city expects to lose this year is almost 45% of its $450,000 investment. San Diego COO Jay Goldstone said of tournament operator the Century Club of San Diego, "They did not have enough cash to pay us for full cost recovery. ... And there are a number of indirect benefits (to the city).” Schrotenboer notes "most of the losses flow from the city's self-supported golf enterprise fund and not the city's general fund." Goldstone said that he "eventually wants to recover all the city’s costs but that seeking any more this year 'would put too great a strain' on the host." Schrotenboer notes Century Club distributes "more than $2[M] to charities each year," and the club has "structured its fundraising so that virtually all proceeds benefit charities directly, leaving it with little cash on hand." In tax returns the Century Club filed last year, it reported revenue and expenses in excess of $14M, "yet ended the year with net assets of $139,000." Tournament Dir Tom Wilson: "We're not building up a war chest of reserves. We would rather give fees or money we don't have to pay to charity." Goldstone said that he "plans to meet soon with the Century Club and achieve full reimbursement for the city within two years." But Century Club officials said that "could be a deal breaker." Century Club General Chair & President Tom Wornham: "The city can handle the expenses being incurred. I think it's a fair number right now. We're paying half; the city's paying half" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 1/27). In California, Marc Figueroa writes under the header, "A Lot Of Positives For PGA At Torrey." Since its inception in '61, the tournament has "generated nearly $19[M] for local charities." Wilson said, "A lot of positive things happen because we have a PGA Tour event in San Diego" (NORTH COUNTY TIMES, 1/27).

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