County OKs contracts for golf tourneys

The Pierce County Council unanimously voted Tuesday to approve contracts to host two of the nation’s premier golf championships at Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place.

The contracts will obligate the county to spend an estimated $4.2 million in coming years to prepare for and host the 2015 U.S. Open and the 2010 U.S. Amateur championships.

But with rent payments from the United States Golf Association and proceeds from the tournaments, the county expects to make a $1.9 million profit.

Under the contracts, Pierce County will receive $2.5 million for leasing Chambers Bay for the U.S. Open. The association will pay the county $135,000 when the contract is signed and another $850,000 by Feb. 1. Most of the rest will come in annual payments leading up to the U.S. Open, with $600,000 due after the tournament ends.

The association will bear most of the cost of staging the U.S. Open and will keep most of the revenue. The county will get a share of the proceeds from hospitality packages, some food and beverage service and some merchandise sales.

Pierce County will pay most of the cost of staging the U.S. Amateur tournament, but will keep nearly all the proceeds.

David Wickert: 253-274-7341