Puerto Rico hosts first major golf tournament since 2017
After being unable to host the Puerto Rico Open in 2018 as a result of the aftermath of Hurricane María, a major PGA golf event made a recent return to the territory. The Puerto Rico Open professional golf tournament once again took place from February 21 to February 24 at the Coco Beach Golf and Country Club championship golf course in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.
The PGA tour is the largest and most prestigious tour of professional golf events in the United States, with total tournament payouts in the millions of dollars. The Puerto Rico Open has been a PGA Tour event since its inception in 2008, and has drawn top professional golfers from across the world to compete in the tournament each year. In addition to drawing over 100 professional players to the tournament, the 2019 Puerto Rico Open drew more than 10,000 spectators in attendance to observe the four-day tournament live in the territory.
PGA Tour events serve as major gatherings for fans of the sport, who come to watch tournament play, which typically takes place over the course of four days from Thursday to Sunday. On television, the PGA Tour saw viewership reach nearly 11 million for a single event. This reflects not only the massive popularity of the sport across North America and the globe, but the economic implications of attractive a lucrative and prestigious tour tournament.
The Puerto Rico Tourism Company, run through the government of Puerto Rico, is a primary sponsor of the Puerto Rico Open each year, and Puerto Rico Tourism Company Executive Director, Carla Campos, stated prior to the 2019 event that the tournament was “expected to generate over $10 million in economic impact to the Island, 5,250 room nights, 600 direct and indirect jobs, 25 hours of Golf Channel coverage, a reach of 3.8 million viewers, and 4 days of great golf for the more than 10,000 spectators in attendance.”
These statistics display both the immediate and long-term economic impact that the Puerto Rico Open, and similar events, have on the Puerto Rican economy. The immediate impact includes thousands of visitors to the islands, providing patrons for local hotels, restaurants, and shops, while providing work for hundreds of residents. In addition to this the long-term impact of millions of viewers through the televised experience provides a significant amount of marketing exposure for the natural beauty and amenities that the territory has to offer.
The Puerto Rico Open is expected to return to the territory in 2020 as well, drawing a talented field of players, an enthusiast crowd of fans, and an attentive television audience, which all help display the wonders that Puerto Rico has to offer while continuing to develop economic stability and prosperity across the territory.