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Our View: Bring back PGA event to the SCV

Posted: November 20, 2011 1:30 a.m.
Updated: November 20, 2011 1:30 a.m.

It’s been more than two years since the Santa Clarita Valley has hosted a major golf tournament at its highly rated Valencia Country Club course, and, as a result, the area’s missed out on millions of dollars in lost revenue and invaluable national exposure.

When the annual AT&T Champions Classic used to roll into the SCV in the springtime between 2001 and 2009, it brought in between $5 million and $7 million, and thousands of players, spectators and production workers over the course of the week.

It would also bring in world-class golfers and high-profile athletes from other sports, as well as famous actors, musicians and other celebrities. And the national TV crews were out in force, highlighting the great weather and scenery of the SCV and attracting future business and tourists to the area.

“This is probably the single (biggest) event year after year in (Santa Clarita) in terms of economic development for the community,” Santa Clarita Councilman Bob Kellar said in 2009 — the tournament’s last year in the SCV.

Unfortunately, AT&T pulled out after the 2009 event, and the city has been unable to find another major sponsor to fill the void and bring a top-quality tournament back into the SCV. On the losing end have been businesses from local vendors across several industries to hotels and restaurants. And these days, any boost to local business is a valuable one.

The event was an expensive one to put on — roughly $3 million, including production costs and prize purses. But in the hopes of bringing another Classic to the SCV, city officials have met with a host of local large businesses and small businesses, business groups, national corporations, PGA affiliates and more, but to no avail.

Smaller-scale events, such as the Santa Clarita Marathon, are great for morale and community entertainment and involvement, but they lack the exposure and financial impact that the SCV needs.

With a major PGA event, golfers locally and nationally love the Valencia Country Club course, the area benefits greatly from the national recognition, local businesses get a huge boost from all the visitors during the event and we all have a hallmark event to hang our hats on.

We’re urging the city and our business community to carry the torch for this economically and socially beneficial event that helped put the SCV on the map.


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