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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Will Tiger's Absence Have Financial Impact on the U.S. Open?

Tiger Woods has pulled out of the U.S. Open Golf Classic, so what financial effect will this have on the tournament? This answer can be broken down into two parts; media/television and corporate sales as well as on-site/advanced ticket sales, hospitality suites, parking, concessions and merchandise sales (Rishe, 2011).  
     Tickets and passes for the U.S. Open generally sellout a year in advance and are unavailable to the public unless you purchase tickets from the secondary ticket market. Similarly, most corporate sponsorship packages and hospitality suites are secured long before the event and are usually non-refundable or conditional for the event (Rishe, 2011). This means that the U.S. Open will not lose that much revenue due to Tiger's absence. If this were about ten years ago, when Tiger was dominating the golf world and even non golf fans would tune in to witness his dominance, the U.S. Open might be faced with a lot of last minute no-shows or a reduced television audience. Now because of his recent downfall, Tiger's aura has dwindled to little or nothing. Tiger has dropped out of the top ten for the first time in ten years and many non golf fans aren't tuning in anymore to witness his greatness as well as the golf enthusiasts' are not coming to see Tiger perform either.
     Television ratings will fall some and because of this, television sponsors will be lower cost than past years, but this should not affect the overall revenue stream for the tournament because tiger made his announcement so close to the start of the tournament. T.V. ratings in the past were at their highest when Tiger won the U.S. Open (2000,2002, 2008) and yielded near or above 8 million viewers during those years. In 2010 the ratings rose to 6.9 at Pebble Beach (the highest since 2002) as Woods, Phil Mickelson and Ernie Ells chased down eventual champion Graeme McDowell (Rishe, 2011).
     Tiger's downfall due to person injuries and transgression over the last 18 months (Rishe, 2011) have really taken him out of the spotlight and golf fans have come accustomed to him not being in the running coming down to the 18th hole. Because of this, the U.S. Open will not feel the financial crunch of Tiger not being able to play. 

Rishe, P. (2011). Tiger's absence should have little financial impact on U.S. Open. Retrieved on 6/8/2011 from

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