By Timothy Hurley
Advertiser Maui Bureau
KAPALUA, Maui The Hawaii Tourism Authority has struck a deal with the PGA Tour that guarantees Hawaii will continue to play host to six mens professional golf tournaments over the next six years.
The agreement, announced yesterday on the eve of Kapaluas Mercedes Championships, calls for state spending of nearly $10 million for Hawaiis PGA Tour events in exchange for a commitment that the tournaments will remain in the state.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority already spends $1.2 million a year on PGA golf tournaments.
"We have a long history of successful events in Hawaii and our players certainly enjoy these tournaments," said PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem.
The tournaments are the Mercedes Championships on Maui, the Sony Open on Oahu, the MasterCard Senior Championships on the Big Island, the Senior Skins Game on Maui, the EMC Kaanapali Classic on Maui and the PGA Grand Slam on Kauai.
Under the agreement, first-year funding would be $1.8 million, increasing by 5 percent each year through 2005, when funding reaches nearly $2.2 million. The deal commits a $100,000 "site subsidy" for each Hawaii tournament and provides an additional $100,000 per tournament for marketing.
Robert Fishman, the authoritys chief executive officer, said the agreement will serve as the cornerstone to the states $1 billion golf industry.
"We want to continue to send the message that Hawaii is one of the worlds most pristine and high-quality destinations," Fishman said.
[back to top]