The uncertainty over where this summer’s Boeing Classic will be held has eased.
It will return to TCP Snoqualmie Ridge for at least one more year.
“It’s looking like a verbal agreement for 2010 and they will talk beyond that,” said Ryan Whitney, Snoqualmie’s general manager. “It’s not public yet but it’s out there and somewhat understood, barring something crazy. We’re moving ahead as such.”
What’s fortunate for this tournament – especially in this economy – is it has a title sponsor. Boeing is under contract through 2012. The uncertainty has been over where it would be held. The contract with Snoqualmie ended last year and needed to be renegotiated with the PGA.
But it’s not quite that simple. Snoqualmie members are generally split on the tournament benefits to the club. It’s nice to have the course shown to the nation every year on the Golf Channel, but the members also give up about a month of play during peak summer. That’s a sacrifice when you consider there are only about five or six quality months of golf in this region.
So the members had to come to an agreement that it’s worth it. Then the club took their concerns to the corporate ownership, Brightstar, a Carlsbad, Ca., golf properties company. Virginia Mason, the primary charity, the Seahawks, one of the major promoters, and the club members had concerns and brought them to the sanctioning body.
It took a while to address all the concerns. One of the significant issues was concessions. Since the members are giving up so much, they would like a bigger piece of the pie. That’s believed to be one of the benefits in the new agreement.
“One of the things was how to maximize food and beverage revenues,” Whitney added. “They’ve (tournament officials) been great about it.”
There also is a bit of a curve thrown at the Boeing tournament this year. It will be held beginning Aug. 23. That’s just three weeks after the U.S. Senior Open at Sahalee. Can this region handle two senior events so close together?
A few months back I talked with Michelle DeLancy, the director of the Boeing Classic. She was not worried about the double exposure.
” I think it’s beneficial to the community, to Seattle, having those players able to come here twice,” she said. “It’s great for the fans to see all these players.’
“The way we’re looking at it, they’re (U.S. Senior Open) here for one week. We’re here through 2012. We’re definitely involved in the community. The money that we raise here, stays here in Seattle. We don’t see it as a bad thing. Players are happy to be here. They look forward to Sahalee and the Boeing Classic as well.”
One way and another we’re going to see a lot of seniors around Seattle this summer.
“It’s nice to see Ben Crensaw, Nick Price, Gary Player Mark O’Meara, Craig Stadler walking down your hallways,” Whitney added. “Those are the faces you’ve grown up watching.”