ROCHESTER, N.Y. — When the PGA Tour returns to Oak Hill Country Club in May, it will bring throngs of fans to Rochester and inject millions of dollars into the local economy.
Greater Rochester Enterprise, an economic development organization focused on promoting the Rochester region as a competitive place for business location and growth, is projecting the 2023 PGA Championship will draw 225,000 spectators and have a $190 million impact on the region.
GRE released an economic impact study that predicts the event will support more than 1,200 temporary, full-, and part-time jobs at Oak Hill Country Club, local restaurants, hotels, retail establishments, and construction companies. The study says the event will also result in an estimated $19.2 million in state and local fiscal revenue in the form of sales, income, and other taxes.
The influx of visitors and the national spotlight will have benefits that last beyond the week of the tournament, which runs from May 15 to 21.
“This major tournament is an opportunity to shine an international spotlight on the numerous reasons Rochester is the right place for championship-level golf, as well as the right place for businesses to grow and tap into the local, highly skilled workforce,” said Matt Hurlbutt, president and CEO of GRE.
How the money breaks down
More than 225,000 spectators are expected to attend throughout the week. Ticket prices range in cost from $55 to $215 each. Approximately 39 percent of all ticket holders will visit Rochester from outside of 100 miles throughout the week.
Those fans will bring their wallets with them when they travel. Approximately 6,000 hotel rooms will be booked locally per night, at an average rate of $350 per night, according to the GRE study, with an average stay of 2 ½ nights. These ticket holders are estimated to spend an average of $125 per day, including off-site spending on food and beverage and transportation, for a total of $9 million for the week.
Those that haven’t booked a hotel room already may have trouble finding a place to stay during the tournament, Hurlbut said. Many local hotels are already booked to capacity for the week, and popular restaurants and bars near the course are gearing up for big crowds.
In addition to spectators, more than 10,000 credentialed attendees will come to town and stay for an estimated six days. This includes the field of 156 golfers, PGA staff and officials, player support staff, family members, and members of the working media. These credentialed attendees are projected to spend another $8 million in the area during tournament week.
Additional revenue will be generated by the sales of corporate tents/tables, concessions, and merchandise. Then there is the economic impact of constructing and maintaining chalets and on-site facilities at the event during the week, as well as on-site security during the week.
In all, the GRE study projects the tournament will generate $110 million in direct revenue, $43 million in indirect revenue, and $37 million in induced spending.
Rochester is no stranger to hosting major golf events. Locust Hill Country Club was home to a yearly stop on the LPGA Tour from 1977 to 2009, and the LPGA Championship was played here from 2010 to 2014.
Oak Hill Country Club is the only American course to have hosted all six rotating men’s major golf championships, including the 1995 Ryder Cup and 1998 U.S. Amateur Championship. This year will mark the fourth time the historic course has hosted the PGA Championship. In all, Oak Hill has hosted 13 major tournaments. It will host the U.S. Amateur again in 2027.
“Rochester is a golf town. And I think you saw that in the reaction on the hospitality venues,” Hurlbutt said. “You’ve got a lot of people in this community who really snapped those tickets up.”