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The PGA Impact

Rochester Business Journal
April 5, 2013

The PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club will generate $78.1 million for the local economy, including $7.3 million in additional tax revenue, an analysis released this week shows.
The report, compiled by Greater Rochester Enterprise Inc., predicts that 1,127 temporary full-time and part-time jobs will result from the 95th annual tournament, one of four majors on the PGA Tour. Tournament week is Aug. 5-11.
GRE, a public-private regional economic development agency, used ticket sales and other data from recent PGA events and current sales information from PGA Tournament headquarters at Oak Hill to calculate the potential impact.
The data was processed with software used by the Center for Governmental Research Inc. for its economic impact studies, GRE president and CEO Mark Peterson said. The impact includes direct, indirect and induced income and spending.
"A $78 million impact to a region of this magnitude and size is a big deal," he said.
"It's jobs as well as taxes that are collected by the state of New York and the great benefits to the region and the regional economy. There's nothing wrong with attracting world-class events as a way to help boost your local economy."
The spike in employment will occur at Oak Hill and at local restaurants, hotels and retail establishments, the report shows. More than $7.3 million will come from sales, income and other taxes.
Sporting event production companies, construction firms, service industries and real estate are likely to see the most job growth.
Spectator sports companies top the list of industries affected by the tournament, adding 710 jobs with incomes totaling more than $6.3 million and adding more than $7.3 million in value to the economy, data shows. That industry's economic output totals nearly $24.7 million, it shows.
Builders of non-residential structures add 59 jobs and contribute $10 million to the economy, the report shows. Lodging facilities add 38 jobs and $5.3 million. Retail stores add 37 jobs and almost $2.3 million. Restaurants and bars add 23 jobs and $1.4 million. Personal care services add 18 jobs and $1.1 million.
The projected economic impact is based on assumed ticket sales of 198,000 for the four-day tournament, including 52,500 to spectators at least 100 miles from Rochester who will spend two and one-half days here.
It also includes nearly 2,000 PGA golfers, staff and officials, as well as their entourages and family members, and media representatives from beyond 100 miles who will stay for five to seven days.
More than 4,900 hotel rooms will be booked, at an average rate of $600 for two and one-half days, the report states.
Spending by out-of-town ticket holders, estimated at $345 each per day, will total nearly $45.3 million, including tickets, hotels and restaurants, transportation and merchandise purchased. Spending by visitors who don't have tickets, estimated at $171 a day, comes to $2.4 million.
The tournament will generate $26 million from tickets, corporate tents and tables, concessions and merchandise.
"Corporate hospitality is strong," Peterson said. "We probably don't have the top-performing corporate support and the top-performing ticket sales. But together, they perform better here overall than they do almost anyplace they have a (PGA) championship.
"Rochester is one of the few places where both elements are strong. The combination of the two makes for a very financially successful championship for them and also a great venue for the fans and for the golfers, who love to play Oak Hill."
The direct economic impact is projected to be $41 million, data show. The indirect impact is $21.4 million and the induced impact $15.7 million.
Induced effects are employment or income triggered by household consumption expenditures, the report states. Indirect effects are the purchase of non-tournament goods and supplies.
The GRE analysis mirrors a PGA study estimating economic benefits of up to $80 million for the Rochester tournament.
PGA Championship representatives could not be reached for comment at midweek.
"Bringing the PGA Championship back to Rochester is a regional effort of which we are most proud to share with our partners in the town of Pittsford, the county of Monroe, the Finger Lakes region and the entire state of New York," championship director Ryan Cannon said in a statement Tuesday.
"We look forward with great anticipation to welcoming golf fans and families from around the world to discover this great region and enjoy the many benefits it has to offer."
GRE plans to use the tournament for its own benefits, Peterson said.
"It's great for us to be able to shine a worldwide spotlight on the Greater Rochester region," he said. "It gives us an opportunity to reinforce marketing messages to companies we're working with or have conversations with around the world.
"You can't underestimate the fact that we're going to be on the TV in front of nearly 1 billion people around the world for nearly a week. These athletes that come in from all over the world are superstars in their home countries. Their entire country is going to be watching this thing and learning about Rochester, New York, where it is and what its assets are."
GRE is recruiting site selectors to the tournament as a first step in their eventually locating companies here.
"We will use our hospitality venue at the event to bring in some national site selectors," Peterson said. "That'll help us to continue to build those relationships and to hopefully target new projects that might bring additional companies into the Rochester area."
Seven site selectors attended the 2008 Senior PGA Championship.
"We'll have a similar number coming," Peterson said, declining to be specific. "We already have several that are invited and have agreed to come. We have several others that we're talking with about the details of the arrangements.
"We will have a group of them here, and they are folks that are influential out in the corporate world for bringing projects here. That'll be a good opportunity for us to showcase the assets of this community."
The state will have a presence at the tournament for economic development initiatives, Peterson said.
"They will be playing a role," he said. "New York State, as well as the county and the city, has been tremendously supportive of the championship."

4/5/13 (c) 2013 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

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