SBD/June 29, 2011/Events and Attractions

LPGA Adding Event In Ontario, Sponsored By Manulife Financial

The LPGA yesterday announced that it is adding a new tournament for '12-14 in Waterloo, Ontario, sponsored by Canada-based financial services company Manulife Financial. The new event is part of the LPGA’s push to add more events in North America. Looking at next year’s schedule, the long-running Springfield, Ill., tournament is losing State Farm as its title sponsor and the LPGA is actively seeking a replacement. However, the Jamie Farr event in Toledo is scheduled to return in '12. LPGA CMO Jon Podany said with the Waterloo tournament, the tour is “up one from where we were and we’re optimistic there will be more” tournaments in North America next year. The Manulife event will be held June 18-24 next year at Grey Silo Golf Course as part of a three-year agreement with the LPGA. The 72-hole event will have a standard field of 144 players. The LPGA in August also stages the CN Canadian Women’s Open, which has been on the schedule since '76 (Michael Smith, SportsBusiness Journal). In Ontario, Mark Bryson notes Manulife’s three-year deal includes options for '15 and '16. Toronto-based Sports Properties International Chair & CEO Hugh Morrow said that he “approached the LPGA about a year ago and brought Manulife on board after that.” Morrow is “hoping more than 60,000 spectators will take in the event.” Grey Silo’s clubhouse is “considered to be small by LPGA standards, but a number of temporary structures will be erected to solve that issue.” Another issue will be “making it easy for galleries to make their way around the course.” Morrow said that Bruno Event Team, a sports marketing and event management company, will “open a Waterloo office in July to oversee the day-to-day events leading up to the tournament” (WATERLOO REGION RECORD, 6/29). The GLOBE & MAIL’s Beverly Smith notes Morrow “had been looking at other cities, including one in Florida, but Waterloo won him over, with support from the mayors of the Kitchener-Waterloo area and the community” (GLOBE & MAIL, 6/29).
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