Pierce County expects to earn a $1.9 million profit by hosting two of the nation's premier golf tournaments at Chambers Bay Golf Course, according to estimates released Tuesday.
The estimates show the county will spend $4.2 million over the next seven years to prepare for and host the U.S. Amateur Championship in 2010 and the U.S. Open in 2015. The county expects to receive about $6.1 million in revenue from the tournaments during that time.
County Executive John Ladenburg released the estimates as the County Council considers whether to authorize the contracts and expenses associated with hosting the tournaments. A decision is expected next week.
The county spent nearly $21 million to build Chambers Bay, which opened last June. In February, the United States Golf Association announced it would bring both tournaments to the waterfront course in University Place.
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Since then, the county has been negotiating contracts with the United States Golf Association to host both tournaments. On Tuesday, Ladenburg presented the final drafts to the council. Here are some highlights.
• The association will pay Pierce County $2.5 million to lease the course for the U.S. Open.
Originally, about $2 million of the total wasn't due until after the tournament. However, the association has since agreed to pay more money up front to help the county cover an estimated $800,000 in capital improvements over the next five years, including a new practice facility. Under the revised contract, the association will pay $135,000 immediately and another $850,000 by Feb. 1, 2009. Most of the balance of the lease payments would come in varying annual installments leading up to the U.S. Open, with only $600,000 due after the tournament ends.
• The association would bear most of the cost of staging the U.S. Open and will keep most of the revenue. However, the county would get a share of proceeds from hospitality packages, some food and beverage service, and some merchandise sales.
• Pierce County will bear most of the cost of hosting the U.S. Amateur and will keep nearly all of the proceeds.
Though his estimates show that lease payments and other revenue will allow the county to more than cover its costs, Ladenburg told council members Tuesday that other benefits may be far greater.
Based on economic activity generated at past U.S. Open tournaments, he expects the county, region and state to get a $100 million windfall from hosting the tournament.
And if things go smoothly, Chambers Bay could become part of the regular rotation of courses that host the U.S. Open.
"They have wanted for a long time to have a bigger presence in the Pacific Northwest, " Ladenburg told the council. "We built it for them to come, and they want to come."