NEWBURGH, Ind. (WFIE) - This will be the first year the Korn Ferry Tour Championship tees off without fans present to watch the action.
The Korn Ferry Tour Championship brought in more than 26,000 people over the course of the week last year.
These spectators would usually be spending their money at the golf course, eating at nearby restaurants, and staying at local hotels.
However, this year’s tournament is only limited to those directly involved in competition and support staff due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Evansville Convention and Visitors Bureau President Jim Wood says it will be hard to quantify that loss, but he’s glad the tournament is still happening because the exposure will still be there on a national scale.
”Promoting Evansville - the ‘E is for Everyone’ brand that we promote here locally and regionally,” Wood said. “And so people are going to be seeing that messaging, and we hope that it stimulates some people to have a desire to come here and visit, or relocate a business at some point in time down the road.”
Meanwhile, this impact on the local economy will also affect the non-profits who are involved with the tournament every year. Just like the spectators who descend upon Victoria National Golf Course on an annual basis, people like Parri Black with Youth First would also head down for the tour championship to help run admissions.
“When guests come and purchase their tickets, Youth First actually received 100% of that ticket when they walked up to the gate on the day of the event,” Black said.
Youth First made $9,000 last year as part of the more than 75 local non-profits who benefited from the Golf Gives Back Program, but without fans at this year’s event, organization leaders are not anticipating those types of numbers.
“We don’t expect to see those proceeds this year and that’s perfectly understandable,” Black said.