SBD/August 28, 2013/Events and Attractions

LPGA Safeway Classic Hit By Less Title Sponsor Involvement, Changes To '13 Calendar

Safeway Classic officials expect smaller galleries this year, especially Saturday
The LPGA Safeway Classic returns to Columbia Edgewater Country Club this week, a venue "well-liked by tour players," but it is "dealing with reduced involvement from its title sponsor and less-than-ideal dates," according to Mike Tokito of the Portland OREGONIAN. The event also has "halved its pro-am to one day, potentially cutting the proceeds of its biggest fund-raiser and endangering the tournament’s seven-year streak of contributing" at least $1M to local children’s charities. Tournament Golf Foundation President Tom Maletis, whose group coordinates the event, said, "It will have a financial impact on the tournament. Obviously, we’ve got a good product that we’re selling, we’ve got a good field, and we’re back at Columbia Edgewater. We’re going to do our best to minimize the losses that we may have.” TGF is running the tournament "under a one-year contract extension with Safeway, an arrangement it has operated under since the grocery chain’s long-time contract expired" in '10. But Safeway this year has "curtailed its involvement, no longer sponsoring a vendor’s tent or sending as many executives and vendors to enter the pro-am." The tournament this year because of the mid-August Solheim Cup was "pushed back into Labor Day weekend and into an overlap with Saturday’s college football openers for Oregon and Oregon State." Maletis said that attendance "could take a hit, especially Saturday" (Portland OREGONIAN, 8/28).
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