Steph Curry will play in a Web.com Tour event, the Ellie Mae Classic, in August and while on the surface it may look like a great thing for the sport there are many pros who disagree.
Curry, who holds a 2 handicap, is in the eyes of many taking the spot of a young golfer who is actually trying to make a living through golf and work their way to the PGA Tour.
Lee McCoy, who plays on the Mackenzie Tour or PGA Tour Canada, took to Twitter to share his opinion on the matter.
While McCoy has a point, Curry playing in one event on a sponsor exemption won’t destroy some young golfer’s dreams and in fact, it could help a future Web.com or PGA Tour star out.
You can look at what Tim Tebow is doing for crowds and money in the minor leagues for the Mets as an example.
The Columbia Fireflies have drawn an average of 5,027 fans per game so far in 2017 (through the games played as of May 3rd). At the same point last year, in the first season in Columbia and playing in a new park at Spirit Communication Park (capacity:7,501), the team was drawing 3,707 fans per game. The team would end the year averaging 3,785 per game. (Thanks to Kevin Fitzgerald, Broadcasting and Media Relations Director with the Fireflies, for providing additional attendance data).
Ticket prices range from $5 for the terraced berm in the outfield to $14 at the upper end. If we assume the average ticket sold is around $9 or $10 per visitor, then the club is averaging about $12,000 more in increased revenue this year, based only on ticket sales. Add in merchandising and food/drink sales differences with larger crowds and that number only goes up.
Here are the averages in games against Columbia and in other home games so far in 2017 for each of those clubs:
On average, the attendance is more than double in those road games. While we can’t say that it is entirely Tim Tebow, he’s almost certainly most of that difference. In the 11 road games for Columbia, the home team has drawn at least 4,000 in all but one game (a Sunday in Augusta). Meanwhile, those same teams have only hit 4,000 three times in their other 24 home dates (all three on Saturday evenings).
It’s possible that adding stars like Curry to Web.com Tour events would attract more interest for viewers which means more money for players.
[HT Devil Ball Golf]