CARMEL, Ind. - With attendance topping 140,000, the BMW Championship at Crooked Stick in
September had a $30-million economic impact for the region. Hamilton County hotel occupancy was up 18.7 percent for the week, and revenue was up 42.4 percent compared to the same time in 2011. The tournament's final day leaderboard was considered one of the best in history of the tournament. Rory McIlroy won, beating out Lee Westwood, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods. The real winners were Crooked Stick and Hamilton County businesses.
"The Indiana golf community has shown it will support a major sporting event, and we'd certainly be interested in coming back in the future," Vince Pellegrino, the Western Golf Association's vice president of tournaments said during a news interview.
The last time Crooked Stick hosted the PGA Tour was 21 years ago, but based on attendance and reaction from players and organizers, it may not take another two decades before the tour stops in Carmel again.
Indiana fans and corporate sponsors provided its love for the tour by showing up in droves, even schlepping through rain and mud on a couple of days.
"The corporate support has been great in Chicago, great for a long time, but we've had a lot more people show up here than we've had in recent years in Chicago, "Pellegrino said. "The locals into golf here said this would be big, but till you see it in person, you're not really sure."
During the event, Hamilton County Convention & Visitors Bureau distributed 15,000 brochures to visitors, volunteers, golfers and media, window clings decorated restaurant and hotel windows and volunteers wore buttons all promoting Hamilton County.
The main benefactor from
the BMW Championship is the Western Golf Association's (WGA) Chick Evans
Scholarship Fund. Because of the success of the tournament, WGA will
send approximately 850 kids to college next year with full tuition, room
and board scholarship.
The 2013 BMW Championship will be at Conway Farms in Lake Forest, Ill., near the tourney's traditional Chicago home. In 2014, Cherry Hills in Colorado will host the event.
Source: Hamilton County Convention & Visitors Bureau