CHASKA – The dust has settled and rave reviews are in for the 2016 Ryder Cup — but how much did it cost, and who’s footing the bill?
The biennial men’s golf competition between European and American golfers was held Sept. 26-Oct. 2 at Hazeltine National Golf Course. Many costs were covered by the Professional Golfers Association (PGA), which sponsors the competition. But taxpayers footed the bill for some costs, including extra work for local officials.
Several government officials and business leaders emphasized that the Ryder Cup was a boon to the area, filling hotel rooms and bringing esteem to the Twin Cities.
“It’s a huge feather in the cap of the state to have an event like this,” said Jeff Hintz, the Ryder Cup’s director. “Financially, it’s not a burden at all.”
Now that reimbursement checks have been written, most of the cup-related expenses can be calculated for government agencies such as the city of Chaska, Carver County and the Eastern Carver County school district.
The PGA paid the state $4,137,654 in sales tax for concessions and merchandise sold at the course, which doesn’t include taxes paid by vendors, Hintz said. This year’s contest was “far and away, the most successful Ryder Cup we’ve ever had,” he said. Hintz said nearly 300,000 people attended, breaking previous records.
The PGA doesn’t commission an economic impact statement, but a study done for the 2012 Ryder Cup near Chicago estimated it at $135 million, Hintz said. The PGA used that figure as a reference for what the Twin Cities impact might be.
“It put us in an international spotlight,” said Mark Windschitl, Chaska’s mayor, noting that it’s hard to calculate the value of such intangible benefits.
Chaska’s police and fire department costs related to the Ryder Cup totaled $101,762, said city administrator Matt Podhradsky. Those expenses were covered by the Chaska Golf Experience, an annual fundraiser, which nets about $70,000 a year. Event organizers set aside money from each year’s fundraiser to cover police and fire costs for the next big tournament.
Podhradsky said the city spent $150,000 on the “19th Hole Celebration,” which was designed to encourage people to spend time and money downtown. About $80,000 of that came from sponsors; the Chaska Golf Experience paid the rest. Podhradsky, Windschitl and another city staffer traveled to Scotland in 2014 to check out the Ryder Cup. The $15,000 trip was paid for by the city’s Economic Development Authority.
Carver County incurred $125,241 in unreimbursed costs, including $114,429 in overtime pay to the Sheriff’s Office, $10,000 for recycling costs and $812 for environmental services staff members’ overtime, said Dave Hemze, county administrator.
The Minnesota State Patrol billed the PGA $102,907 for state troopers to provide traffic control and bus escorts for the Ryder Cup, said Lt. Heath Dienger of the State Patrol. And the PGA paid $69,431 to Shakopee police, largely because Canterbury Park was the event’s main parking area.
Eastern Carver County schools let out for a week during the event because of heavy tournament traffic. In the interim, the district made $139,459 renting out rooms, a parking lot and soccer field at Chaska High School, and for parking at four other schools, according to Brett Johnson, the district’s spokesman.
The pavement on a Chaska High School auxiliary road buckled because of recent rain and extra bus traffic, city officials said. The road was patched up, but bigger road repairs — along with fixes to the high school’s parking lot, curb and gutter — totaled $129,791, which the PGA covered, Johnson said.