Shriners golf promoters hope to build on attendance of 35,000

The big-league professional golfers are in Las Vegas week, and organizers of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open are unveiling a new Cabana suite on the 16th green in hopes of generating more revenue from the PGA event.

The private suite costs $15,000 for 15 tickets per day from Thursday to Sunday, said Patrick Lindsey, the new tournament director who was hired in March. Lindsey replaced Adam Sperling, who remains executive director.

The Las Vegas Athletic Club has purchased the suite for this week’s PGA tourney at TPC Summerlin, Lindsey said. The 7,255-yard, par-71 course has attracted 144 golfers. Tickets are $35 per day.

Lindsey said the tournament attempted to unveil another type of luxury seat option called the Summerlin Box, hoping to attract 15 companies that would pay $15,000 each for four “box seat” tickets on the 18th green.

“It was our version of a front-row seat at a basketball game,” Patrick said Tuesday morning.

The Summerlin Box was discarded this year when there wasn’t enough time to market the product, he said.

Lindsey said the tournament needs to recruit nonhard-core golf fans year-round to build on last year’s attendance of 35,000. He said it would be a “home run” to attract 50,000 fans to the golf course in Summerlin.

Paying for advertising on conventional platforms such as print, broadcast and billboard platforms is no longer enough, Lindsey said. He said tournament sponsors are spreading tickets throughout the Las Vegas Valley in hopes of getting people to attend.

Fans who are 18 or younger and come with a paying adult can attend for free, Lindsey said. He said 85 percent of the fans who attend are locals.

“If we can raise attendance, not necessarily ticket revenue, we can show sponsors there is value,” Lindsey said.

The tourney is targeting families and even kids, with Monday serving as Clark County School District Day. The course hosted 120 fourth-graders, with Star Nursery, NV Energy and Subway helping sponsor the day.

October is a busy month for sports events in the Las Vegas area, with the Professional Bull Riders also having their World Finals at the Thomas & Mack Center this week. Last week, the Red Bull Air Race was staged at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“The market is very competitive,” Lindsey said. “The competition is massive.”

Contact reporter Alan Snel at Find him on Twitter: @BicycleManSnel

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