Tiger Too Pricey?
pblackwell, Fri, July 10th, 2009
All it took to drain some blood out of the announcement of Tiger Woods appearing in the Aug. 24 Notah Begay III Foundation Challenge at Atunyote was to hear how much people would have to ante up to be part of the festivities.
For those inclined to spend a night or two at Turning Stone, the packages are $670 and $920, close to four digits. For just the Monday golf (plus some extras), it's $330. Oh yeah, and just 3,000 of these tickets are available.
To say the least, both the ticket costs and the limited supply of them has been the topic of intense discussion ever since Tiger's presence was made official at last Monday's news conference. Both need to be addressed.
First, the cost. It's not out of bounds (shameless use of golf term) to label them steep, outrageous, ridiculous, or some other biting adjective.
Given the troubled economy, forking at least $330 over for anything, much less a single day of golf spectating, is not a small decision. The only value, really, comes from the once-in-a-time chance to be somewhat up close and personal with the world's most famous athlete.
You certainly can't blame Turning Stone for wanting to tout the resort's other amenities, nor can you fault them for wanting to make sure the October PGA Tour event (no Tiger involved) doesn't get short shrift.
As to the 3,000-ticket limit...on the surface, this looks downright stifling. No matter what the cost of tickets, why so small a number? Literally 10 times that crowd would want to see Tiger if the chance presented itself.
On the other hand, Turning Stone wanted to avoid an unholy mess. If, say, 20,000 or 30,000 showed up, they would stand 10-deep, on every hole, and fans might get to see a few up-close glimpses, but little more. Plus, more fans always means more yahoos, not exactly literate in golf etiquette, who feel they must yell "GET IN THE HOLE!" on a drive on a 600-yard par-five just to get themselves noticed.
We'll know soon enough what kind of appetite fans of all economic brackets have for Tiger. If the tickets don't sell well right away, expect some markdowns in the weeks before the event. Will it reach that point? Just 45 days to find out...