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Taxpayers To Incur More Costs Associated With Presidents Cup

Columbus taxpayers will pick up more of the costs associated with the Presidents Cup golf matches being held at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin this week. Jim Letizia reports.

Taxpayers will pick up an additional 150 thousand dollars of the costs, to be exact. Columbus City Council tonight is expected to approve the additional expenditure. Last March, Council approved contract with HNS Sports Group, the PGA Tour's management entity, that was not to exceed 200-thousand dollars.

Tonight's legislation does not explain why the additional expenditure is needed, but instead touts what the city says will be the economic benefits of hosting the event.  The legislation says the event will generate more than 22 million dollars in visitor spending, 1.2 million dollars in income tax revenue, and will have a regional economic impact of 45 to 50 million dollars.  That includes an estimated 15 thousand nights booked in local hotel rooms.

With individual golf fans, business leaders and political and diplomatic leaders from the US and around the world expected to attend, the city views the Presidents Cup as an opportunity to sell the region as a business and visitors destination. Tickets to the four official rounds of the matches between a 12-man team from the United States and an International team have been sold out.

The first round begins Thursday. Opening ceremonies and events will be held Wednesday at Columbus Commons park downtown. The country music group Rascal Flatts will headline the events, which also include an international food festival, performances by other musical artists, and appearances by the U.S. and International team members.

Jim has been with WCBE since 1996. Before that he worked as a reporter at another Columbus radio station, and for three newspapers in Southwest Florida.