TOWN AND COUNTRY, Mo. - As much as the golfing world is talking about the top-notch play at the PGA Championship, they’re also heaping praise on the tournament host city.
The St. Louis region showed up and showed out at the 100th PGA Championship. Record-setting crowds wowed PGA officials and had people talking about St. Louis.
“The biggest positive everyone is talking about is the fans, both in number and enthusiasm they had for an event,” said Mike DeCola, general chairman for the PGA Championship.
While the PGA doesn’t release information on tickets sales, organizers said more people attended the four-day tournament than a sold-out four-day Cardinals series.
Despite the long lines for shuttles, parking issues, and cellphone service problems during the week, organizers said St. Louis won big overall. The economic impact is expected to exceed $100 million and the public relations boost for the city has been nothing but fantastic.
“We got some great airtime globally about what a wonderful place St. Louis is and that has to be a boost for the economic development, attracting companies here and people who want to live here,” DeCola said.
Throughout the week, golfers continuously touted Bellerive as one of the most crowded golf courses they’d played on, with some of the most passionate fans.
“Everyone was there and excited. I don’t see why we wouldn’t come back,” said Brooks Koepka, PGA Championship winner. “I think it’s perfect for a Ryder Cup,”
Bringing additional PGA or LPGA events to town is, of course, out of our hands, but considering how well the course played, the size of the crowds, and the excitement on the final day of the tournament, you can bet organizers took notice.
The PGA merchandise director added that St. Louis was also the best site for sales they have ever had.