Champions Tour Eyeing Oklahoma City


Champions TourOKLAHOMA CITY -- Champions Tour president Rick George said Tuesday the senior tour would be interested in hosting a tournament in Oklahoma City, but would first need a sponsor to step forward with $2.5 million or more to back the event.
George said the Champions Tour feels good about the market following last year's Senior PGA Championship at Oak Tree Gold Club in suburban Edmond, and about Gaillardia Country Club, which hosted the Senior Tour Championship in 2001 and 2002 and would be the likely host of any Oklahoma City event in the near future.
'We know that the area can support an event, and a great event,' George said.
George said the Champions Tour has an opening for a tournament the weekend after Memorial Day on its 2008 schedule. Although the tour isn't actively pursuing an event for that weekend, George said one would be welcomed to fill that hole.
The Principal Charity Classic in West Des Moines, Iowa, is scheduled for Memorial Day weekend next year -- a week earlier than it was held this year -- with no events planned for the following two weekends. The Boeing Championship at Sandestin, Fla., was held on Memorial Day weekend this year, but isn't currently on the schedule next year.
The main need to set up a tournament in Oklahoma City would be a title sponsorship, which would mean a $2.5 million to $3 million commitment on the Champions Tour, George said. If a title sponsor were to come forward, George said the tour could move forward with finding sponsors for pro-am events and hospitality areas and hiring tournament staff. George said the tour would be able to plan a tournament next June if such a sponsor came forward in the next 60 days.
Otherwise, George said the tour would be considering sites interested in hosting events in 2009.
'It's an ideal city for us,' George said. 'It's just a matter of finding someone to sponsor it.'
The Oklahoma Publishing Co. sponsored the Senior Tour Championship when it was played at Gaillardia in 2001 and 2002. The Gaillardia course was upgraded in 2004 by a firm headed by Champions Tour golfer Tom Kite.
Related Links:
  • Champions Tour Schedule