Official expects Doral golf tourney to pump up to $65 million into county
By Suzy Valentine
The Ford Championship at Doral professional golf tournament this week should pump up to $25 million directly and up to $40 million indirectly into Miami-Dade County, an official says.
Ten of the world's top 11 players, including Tiger Woods, are set to compete in the tournament, said executive director Eddie Carbone. The purse is one of the biggest in the US at $5.5 million, up from last year's $5 million.
Specific economic data about the event, in its 44th year, haven't been calculated, said Bob Shafer, president of the South Florida Golf Foundation. "We've thought about doing an economic impact study. It makes sense overall to state more clearly the event's impact on South Florida."
A Broward County-based sports analyst said impact of the tournament, scheduled for today (3/3) through Sunday, can't be compared with that of other events because there are too many variables.
"I don't know what comparisons they make," said Kathleen Davis of the Sports Management Research Institute in Weston. "If it's being compared to the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in Palm Springs, then it's like comparing apples and oranges."
Various factors determine how much an event generates, she said. "Jacksonville just hosted the Super Bowl," said Ms. Davis. "It wasn't the kind of tourism-driven event that some are. Tourism ranks 13th or 14th after military and banking revenues in that city.
"That's why we don't make predictions - you don't know how much money comes in until you've done the analysis."
Profits often are listed, she said, without consideration of losses. "Often, economic impact looks only at benefits," said Ms. Davis, "rather than the costs to the county or the hotels."
The winner of the tournament will win $990,000 and a 2006 Ford GT valued at $156,000.
Other winners from the event will be non-profits that will share in revenues, said Mr. Shafer. "Over the life of the tournament, almost $11 million has been donated to non-profits. This year, it will be $400,000 to $500,000."
The Make-A-Wish Foundation, Miami Children's Hospital and American Cancer Society are among beneficiaries.
"The board wanted to set up a charity committee," Mr. Shafer said, "and donate local dollars to local causes. Children and cancer were the focus."
Ford is in the third year of a $3 million, four-year naming-rights deal with the tournament. The company spends another $8 million to $10 million in advertising. "In the next 12 months," said Mr. Shafer, "we'll enter discussions about renewing the agreement."