CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The PGA Championship has yet to crown a winner at Quail Hollow but officials are already talking about a return to the Queen City.
PGA of America CEO Pete Bevacqua told the Associated Press that, "it’s 100 percent in our plans to bring the PGA Championship back to Quail Hollow."
This vote of confidence from PGA executives is refreshing for North Carolinians to hear, considering a little over a year ago, the NBA decided to move the 2017 NBA All-Star Game and the NCAA moved the first and second rounds of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament from Greensboro to Greenville, S.C., both due to the controversy surrounding House Bill 2.
With the reported success in ticket sales and the high levels of excitement being generated throughout the Queen City, Charlotte is now in a powerful position where the city may be able to welcome the PGA Championship once again.
On top of that, when you also consider the economic impact and our fans’ ability to handle any type of weather, the Queen City has a very strong case in being a worthy tournament host for years to come.
Months before the tournament even began, the PGA of America announced on its website that there were signs of high demands for the 2017 PGA Championship tickets. The Charlotte Observer also reported that tickets to the tournament were sold out for months.
Inside Quail Hollow, its giant, 43,000 square-foot pro shop was a major hit among fans. Not only did the store’s break its previous grand opening sales record, the rainy and wet conditions during the first couple days of the tournament helped draw a lot of fans into the indoor pro shop. More fans buying umbrellas and jackets at the pro shop meant more dough for the PGA.
With the success in ticket sales and merchandise considered, PGA officials should never worry about generating enough revenue in Charlotte.
While the Quail Hollow is no Red Carpet, but the course drew in some of the biggest stars. On Tuesday, pictures of pop star Justin Bieber was all over Facebook Tuesday. Two days later, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps was among the VIPs taking in the early rounds of the PGA Championship.
While the commotion on social media came as expected, fans seemed to have embraced the extra attention and energy being added to the city. One grandmother at Quail Hollow candidly told NBC Charlotte that seeing Bieber at the course wound up being the highlight of her day.
As Charlotte brought in visitors from all over the world, nobody was happier to welcome these folks to the Queen City than the local businesses.
"It’s going to be the biggest week Charlotte has seen for retail and restaurants," J.Sam Daniels prior to the start of PGA Championship.
Daniels, who owns J. Sam’s in SouthPark, started ordering extra beer and wine last week to get ready for this year’s crowds.
"Typically with the Wells Fargo, it’s all just locals but for PGA we have people coming from all over the world," Daniels said.
Bob Morgan, the President of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce told NBC Charlotte that the tournament is worth an estimated $100 million to the city and its surrounding areas.
"You can’t buy this kind of positive exposure," Morgan said.
It’s been a roller coaster of weather at the PGA Championship throughout the week. But from rain to humidity, the fans have weathered it all.
From packing umbrellas to staying hydrated, the fans did their part to make sure nothing would prevent them from watching Charlotte’s first major championship.
"I mean this is a once in a lifetime chance so I’ll probably just wait it out with the raincoat," one fan told NBC Charlotte.
The fan’s commitment should make the PGA players and officials both smile and appreciate when it’s all said and done.
As we wait for this year’s winner of the PGA Championship, one thing we know for certain is that our city and Quail Hollow were both able to win over the executives at the PGA of America. Given the successes that came from this year’s tournament and what it has meant to our city, it only seems right that we welcome the PGA back to Charlotte with open arms.
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