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Volume 24 No. 159

Events and Attractions

Tiger Woods' annual World Challenge golf tournament is "back on the schedule this year" for Dec. 5-8, according to Doug Ferguson of the AP. It will be held at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., "where it has been" held since '01. Tiger Woods Foundation President Greg McLaughlin said that he was "not ready to announce the corporate support" for the event. McLaughlin said, "There wasn't a doubt whether we could stage it. The question was whether we could get the necessary corporate support." Ferguson wrote the event means so much to Woods that he "spent what was believed to be about $4 million of his own money to help cover operating costs in a year it did not have a full title sponsor." Another question about the tournament was "how it would fit in when the PGA Tour goes to a wraparound season in October." The World Challenge only offers Official World Golf Ranking points, and McLaughlin "believes the appeal is the reduced field and low-key atmosphere." With the European Tour "ending the same week as the PGA Tour, there's a chance of getting additional players before" they take the winter off. McLaughlin: "This is our 15th year, and it's very important to Tiger. For our foundation, it's the first event we ever did. It would be hard to ever imagine not doing the event." The World Challenge is "one of three tournaments this year that benefit the Tiger Woods Foundation" (AP, 7/2).

Pocono Raceway President & CEO Brandon Igdalsky "senses excitement about IndyCars returning to the track under a 3-year agreement" beginning with Sunday's Pocono IndyCar 400 Fueled by Sunoco after a 24-year absence, according to Bill Fleischman of the PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS. Igdalsky "won't forecast an attendance figure for Sunday's race." He said, "A lot of fans who haven't been here since 1989 say they are coming. They say, 'My dad used to bring me to races here when I was a kid; now I'm bringing my dad and my kids.'" When IndyCar drivers tested at Pocono in April, Igdalsky "spoke with several fans who are primarily NASCAR fans." They were "curious about open-wheel racing," and Igdalsky thinks a "fair number of them will attend Sunday's race." Meanwhile, former IndyCar driver Mario Andretti thinks the Izod IndyCar Series is "headed in the right direction." Andretti: "The product is there. The competition is high quality. We'd like to see the race cultivated properly. We're close to two major markets, New York and Philadelphia. The area is fertile with race fans. The series is stable. It took a long time, but no longer are two series battling each other" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 7/3). ABC analyst Scott Goodyear said, "There's a lot of excitement, not just with the fans, but within the series for this race." He added, "There are some tracks that really helped to form IndyCar racing in this country, and Pocono, to me, is one of them. People are becoming a little nostalgic about this race. They know this track carries a lot of meaning. The drivers are intrigued and excited" (Allentown MORNING CALL, 7/3).

THAT'S THE TICKET: Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials said that they have “seen no adverse sales impact from a risky move to raise ticket prices for the 2014 Indianapolis 500 by about 15 percent -- the first price increase in almost a decade.” IMS COO Doug Boles said that ticket renewals are “actually up 1 percent or so over this same time a year ago.” In Indianapolis, Anthony Schoettle notes IMS officials “expect another attendance increase” next year. The track “hadn’t enacted a ticket increase" for the Indianapolis 500 since '04. Boles said, “We looked at the demand and we saw on eBay that our $150 tickets were selling for between $350 and $550” (INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL, 7/1 issue).