Marana Town Talk: PGA is more than golf in Marana - Columns - Explorer

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Marana Town Talk: PGA is more than golf in Marana

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Ed Honea

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When the PGA Tour comes to your community, you get more than just a week of exciting golf. The positive impacts of hosting a pro golf event last throughout the year.

The Town of Marana is fortunate to have been home to the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship for the past seven years. Despite some challenging weather, last month’s event was just as exciting as the previous six and the benefits of having the tournament here are real and measurable.

Viewers in more than 220 countries tune in to watch match play, giving Marana an enviable opportunity to be seen on a global stage. The town makes a significant investment in the tournament; we’ve spent more than $300,000 on staff and for parking lot improvements over the past seven years. Although the town doesn’t turn a profit on the event, the return Marana and the region receive in global exposure could only be measured in millions of dollars.

Having the tour in town benefits area non-profits, too. Since the event moved to Marana in 2007, almost $9 million has been raised for regional charities as a result of the tournament. Most of that money goes to causes championed by the Tucson Conquistadores, a hard-working group of industry leaders who support local youth sports.

The event puts at least $75 million into the Southern Arizona economy and creates jobs across the region. People come from across the world to see the best of the best in this exciting match play format and they spend significant dollars in hotels, restaurants, shops and rental car offices. It’s hard to replicate that kind of economic impact independently.

The Town of Marana owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to Dove Mountain developer Cottonwood Properties and the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain. We work in tandem with both of these great community partners to make it possible for the PGA to come back every year. The standard that has been set on Dove Mountain is nothing short of world-class.

We also appreciate the cooperation we receive from the executive director of the event Gerald Goodman and his fine staff. The PGA Tour maintains an office in Southern Arizona throughout the year and we enjoy working with Gerald and other dedicated participants, including the dozens of volunteers from Marana, who make this tournament such an exciting event.

We are confident that the Accenture Match Play Championship is returning to Marana next year and the Town will again be ready. Having the PGA Tour come here is great for all of Southern Arizona and we are proud to play a role in making the event a success.

(Editors Note: Ed Honea is the Mayor of The Town of Marana.)

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Ed Honea

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