Rome is the center of the golf world this weekend, with the Ryder Cup being played Friday through Sunday at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club. Team USA will try to win in Europe for the first time since 1993.
Traditionally a split operation between the PGA of America and Ryder Cup Europe, it’s the latter’s time to shine this year.
Ryder Cup executive director Guy Kinnings told Front Office Sports that this event should bring in record revenue for its European organizers, but he was hesitant to celebrate the achievement given the current economic state, filled as it is with the inflation and supply chain issues of a post-pandemic world.
The 2018 event in France generated roughly $90 million in revenue for Ryder Cup Europe.
“There’s a huge increase in sponsorship revenue, big increase in consumer (interest), and media rights are up,” Kinnings explained. “But obviously, the costs of doing business right now — putting on these big events — are pretty huge.”
As the Americans — who are betting favorites to win — look to make history, they’ll face hoards of chanting European fans cheering on the home team. Total attendance is expected to be around 250,000, with 50% of ticket holders under the age of 40.
In 2018, the French environs were enough to propel Europe to a sixth straight victory on home soil, but this weekend the grandstands and sold-out hospitality build-outs are even larger.
“Everything we’ve done here on site here in Rome is significantly bigger,” Kinnings said.