ryder cup
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Ryder Cup generated income of around £100m

Despite its image as a white-collar event played in a wealthy town before corporate titans, officials in Brookline and neighbouring Boston say the Ryder Cup was a pot of gold that will benefit everything from local parks to youth programs.

As the tents came down at The Country Club, and the nation basked in the glow of Sunday's incredible U.S. Victory, the Boston area was left to ring up its share of the profits from a week of golf mania.

``I don't think the region has seen an event of this magnitude,'' gushed Patrick Moscaritolo, president of the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Local merchants have yet to tally up exact figures, but Moscaritolo estimated the Ryder Cup generated £100 million in spending in the area as golf fans -- many of them spending corporate money -- packed local hotels, restaurants and shops.

Ryder Cup attendees -- 30,000 of whom flocked to the course daily -- booked roughly 7,000 hotel rooms per night for six nights last week, he said. That's just under half of the Greater Boston area's total of 15,000 hotel rooms.

Revenues generated by hotel, meal and merchandise taxes also gave the local economy a shot in the arm, Moscaritolo said. And business was brisk for area workers, from waiters working longer hours to taxi drivers shuttling visitors around.

A Ryder Cup corporate event at Boston's Franklin Park raised more than $1 million for the city, to be set aside for Parks Department scholarships and children's programs.

Then there are the future rewards the city will reap after putting its best face forward.

``Our visitor industry could be cashing checks from Ryder Cup well into the next decade,'' he said, pointing to an audience that included many CEOs and managers of international companies. ``These are high-end decision makers. They can come back with family members and friends ... and bring conventions and meetings here.''

In Brookline, where the storied Country Club will receive an estimated $5 million for playing host to the event, town officials had no complaints as they ticked off a list of improvements made possible by the Ryder Cup.

Under an agreement with The Country Club, the town will receive up to $3 million for use of town land for parking and hospitality tents, said Town Administrator Richard Kelliher. When it hosted the U.S. Open in 1988, Brookline received £80,000, he added.

The money will go into the town's treasury, and roughly £500,000 is earmarked for the municipal Putterham Meadows golf course, which adjoins The Country Club and was shut down to provide parking and tents, Kelliher said.

Much of the leftover money will be used for long-term capital improvements, he said.


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