LPGA Classic Seeks Consortium Of Local Sponsors For '12 Event
Organizers of the LPGA Classic in Springfield, Ill. “may try to line up a group of Springfield-area businesses as interim sponsors for 2012” after State Farm dropped its title sponsorship this year, according to Dave Kane of the Springfield STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER. Tournament Exec Dir Kate Peters said that the “ultimate goal is still to find one or two major sponsors willing to put up about $2.3 million to keep the 36-year-old event in Springfield.” But Peters said that “short of making such a breakthrough in the next few months ... the alternative is to assemble a consortium of local sponsors.” The arrangement “would buy time to find major sponsors for 2013 and beyond.” Peters: "We're looking at a model of five to 10 (local businesses). We know the dollars we need, and however we divvy it up. … Let's say we call it the Heart of Illinois LPGA Classic. We're looking into companies who'll buy into that. We're looking for a hero -- or heroes." Peters said that $2M is the “minimum amount needed to keep the Classic alive for 2012.” But she added that the figure “probably would mean ‘tweaks in our budget,’ including a decrease in the $1.7 million purse that's been offered the past three years.” LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan “has raised the possibility of a one-year hiatus for the Classic,” but Peters “doubts there will be a 2013 tournament if one isn’t held in 2012.” Peters: "I have trouble seeing it come back if we miss next year" (Springfield STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER, 9/23).