Portland PGA Return Has City In Full Swing

Portland PGA Return Has City In Full Swing

(Portland, OR – August 2, 2013) –

Thanks to Jeff Sanders, PGA TOUR Golf golf returns to Pumpkin Ridge for first time in 20 years in 2014. Web.com Tour professionals will compete for an $800,000 purse at the WinCo Foods Portland Open at Pumpkin Ridge, but 200 Portland-area nonprofits will be the real winners when they share 100 percent of the tournament’s ticket revenue.

Jeff Sanders

Jeff Sanders is ready for the PGA to return to Portland. Photo: Cathy Cheney | Portland Business Journal

Jeff Sanders is ready for the PGA to return to Portland.

Tee time for Portland’s first PGA tournament at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in 20 years is 13 months away, but handicapping the outcome is a no-brainer: Portland-area nonprofits will net $500,000 or more by selling tickets to the Web.com Tour’s 2014 WinCo Portland Open.

That easily makes the four-day event one of the largest of the numerous charity-oriented golf events that crowd Portland’s summer calendar. Whether it’s the touring professionals of the PGA or happy amateurs, golf tournaments and charity go hand-in-hand, raising millions of dollars for local charities every year.

The Portland Open, organized by Beaverton-based Jeff Sanders Promotions, will be held Aug. 18 to 24 next year at Pumpkin Ridge’s Witch Hollow course, near North Plains. Not coincidentally, that was the site of the last PGA tournament, the Nike Tour Championship, held in Portland in 1994. The top 25 money winners will earn PGA TOUR Cards for the 2014-2015 season awarded on Sunday at Pumpkin Ridge.

But the real story rests with the 200 local child- and family-oriented charities Jeff Sanders Promotions will enlist to sell tickets, starting in September. They’ll receive 100 percent of the revenue.

The Portland Open can pass along ticket revenue because sponsors will cover the $2.5 million to $3.5 million budget for conducting the event at Pumpkin Ridge.

Web.com sponsors the entire tour. WinCo Foods inked a three-year contract with Sanders to serve as title sponsor, ensuring the Portland Open will continue through at least 2016.

Nike Inc. has signed on as a premier sponsor. In all, Sanders expects to sell as many as 35 sponsorships in the $25,000 to $30,000 range.

Any profits after expenses — leasing the course, management fees and the tournament’s $800,000 purse — will go to charity under a PGA rule that has yielded nearly $2 billion for U.S. nonprofits since it took effect.

The program, officially known as TICKETS Fore CHARITY, can be a lucrative undertaking with groups earning anywhere from $10,000 to $150,000 at past events in Boise and in Jacksonville, Fla.

The Albertsons Boise Open, which ended July 28, netted $1.35 million for Idaho charities from ticket sales and tournament profits.

Sanders said the Portland tournament probably won’t yield so much in its first year. But it will grow quickly, he predicted.

“If Boise can do $1.03 million in ticket sales, Portland can get to that in three years,” he said.

Sanders, a Portland native who played eight years on the PGA TOUR, limits his business to events that generate $500,000 or more for charity. His company has generated more than $70 million for charity through his TICKETS Fore CHARITY program.

Sanders, 57, left the tour in 1986 to organize the first Fred Meyer Challenge in 1986 with his University of Oregon roommate, Peter Jacobsen. A year later, he formed Jeff Sanders Promotions. The 18-person firm has organized nearly 300 professional tournaments that collectively have raised more than $75 million for charities, mostly child- and family-related.

“All of us are very motivated by charity,” he said.

Portland Business Journal

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