You would think a country club sport like golf doesn’t need financial government support. But like most sports globally, golf does indeed need a government handout or two to help the industry.
The organizers of the 2022 Ryder Cup, one of golf’s premier events after the majors, got the handout needed to keep the event in Rome from Italy’s Council of Ministers. Italy is forking over $105.5 million for the right to host the golf event. There was some concern that Rome would lose the opportunity to host the event that pits the best American and European golfers against one another in team play because the President of the Senate Pietro Grasso removed the Ryder Cup expenditure from the government budget in February.
The local Ryder Cup organizers now have the money in hand. Had the Italian government said no to financing, the local hosts would have needed to raise money from private investors or would walk away from the event. The Ryder Cup and golf organizers want guarantees from the public, most of that public will never step foot on that golf course to watch the event, to help make sure the event is financially secure.
Rome was in the bidding for the 2024 Summer Olympics until public funding became a major political issue. The decision by Mayor Virginia Raggi to deny the funding of Rome’s bid was met with the usual bluster from a scorned Olympic committee claiming that Rome lost an incredible opportunity. Raggi did not want to allocate money for the Games and claimed the city was still paying off debts from the 1960 Rome Olympics.
Italy is back supporting sports. In addition to the Ryder Cup expenditure, the country’s elected officials also approved spending for the 2021 Alpine Ski World Champions in Cortina d’Ampezzo proving there are still euros available for sports.
By Evan Weiner For The Politics Of Sports Business
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.