Will Charlotte PGA Tour Stop Continue After '14 When Wells Fargo Contract Expires?
The PGA Tour Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte is “locked in through 2014, after which the contracts are scheduled to expire,” according to Ron Green Jr. of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. Green wondered, “What will happen to Charlotte’s annual tour stop? Will it end after the 2014 event? Will it move temporarily to another venue? … Or will a long-term extension be reached that will allow the Wells Fargo Championship to continue at Quail Hollow until at least 2019?” Tournament BOD member and Wells Fargo Exec VP/Community Banking Kendall Alley said, “I can honestly tell you there is no decision at this point.” Still, there is a “growing sense of optimism that an extension could be reached, perhaps by this summer.” Alley said that Quail Hollow has “shown an interest in discussing an extension.” Wells Fargo this year has “increased its participation, including the creation of a new hospitality pavilion behind the 17th tee.” Wells Fargo CMO Jamie Moldafsky will be at Quail Hollow this week to “see the event first-hand.” Alley said that should the bank decide to extend its sponsorship, it “won’t sacrifice the quality of what it now has.” Alley: “The first reality is, as a company, Wells Fargo is going to need to make a decision on what our future is. If that were to ... be at Quail, that’s great. It has some challenges in front of it. It’s not simple. We’ll make whatever decision is best for Wells Fargo” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 4/28). In Charlotte, Adam O’Daniel notes Wells Fargo is “expecting up to 3,000 clients for the tournament this week” (CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 4/27 issue).
TO BE OR NOT TO BE? In Charlotte, Erik Spanberg notes Quail Hollow as part of its deal to host the PGA Championship in '17 “agreed to a stipulation by the PGA of America that it would not stage a regular PGA Tour event in either 2016 or 2017.” A few scenarios are possible, including “re-signing with Wells Fargo on a long-term basis, with Quail Hollow hosting in 2015 and another course in Charlotte serving as home of the tournament the next two years before returning to its original home.” Tournament Exec Dir Kym Hougham said that “four area courses have been suggested as potential alternate sites.” Another possibility could be “extending the Wells Fargo sponsorship by one year through 2015 and ending the regular tour stop after that, allowing Quail Hollow to focus on hosting the PGA Championship and other major golf events on an occasional basis in the years ahead.” In addition, the PGA Tour event could be temporarily relocated, similar to how the AT&T National event relocated from Congressional in DC for two years (CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 4/27 issue).