Golf shot in the arm
April 2, 2010By Teresa A. McLamb
UNCW’s successful bid to bring the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship to town May 18-21 should have an economic impact of more than $500,000, according to an estimate by the Wilmington/Cape Fear Coast Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.
Using conservative numbers that don’t include spectators or the family and friends of players who will be here for all or part of a week, the CVB estimated a raw economic impact of $213,150. “By adding a conservative 2.5 multiplier, we estimate that the total economic impact will be approximately $532,875,” said Connie Nelson, communication manager for the CVB. UNCW’s bid for the tournament was about $93,000, according to Pat Howey, deputy director of athletics at the school and co-chair of the event.
Twenty-four teams and six top individuals will participate in the four-day tournament. They’ll be accompanied by two coaches per team for a total of 174 participants. They will stay here seven nights. Howey hopes to have 1,000 spectators each day, which includes the 300 or so people she says will be accompanying the players.
Team members will stay in three local hotels (Hampton Inn University, Landfall Park Hampton Inn & Suites, Hilton Garden Inn) where rates have been negotiated within the guidelines of NCAA. Marketing committee chair Bill Paris said the Country Club at Landfall has received requests and is assisting people from as far away as Arizona in finding a house to rent on the golf course for the week of the tournament. “Some of the kids have parents that follow them to every tournament,” he said.
The university successfully hosted the 1995 tournament at the Dye Course in Landfall which will again be the host. It is the home course for UNCW’s golf teams. Landfall annually hosts the Landfall Tradition Collegiate Golf Tournament which until this past year had been a co-ed tournament. Last year’s was strictly for women, many of whom will be returning for the NCAA championship.
Several events are planned for the players, including a welcome on the Battleship and a championship awards dinner at Landfall.
Showing the players various parts of town will lead to a second, more indirect economic impact from those who like what they see and return at some future date. Asked about the impact on UNCW, Athletics Director Kelly Landry Mehrtens said, “I think for us, more importantly is what it does for the Wilmington community. It truly gives us an opportunity to showcase our wonderful city. That’s what’s important. There’s also the opportunity to showcase UNCW athletics as well as the Country Club at Landfall.”