Golf - 27 Sep 2012 -
The three-day contest is expected to draw a total of more than 120,000 spectators, but it is the course's proximity to Chicago, a sports-mad city, that should swell the coffers of the local community.
According to the PGA of America, which organises the Ryder Cup when it is played in USA, this year's event is expected to have an economic impact in the range of $135 million to $150 million on the greater Chicagoland area.
At the lowest estimate, that would be a 12 per cent increase on the last time USA hosted the Ryder Cup, at Valhalla in Louisville, Kentucky four years ago, and a substantial hike on the economic impact of $114 million for the 2004 event at Oakland Hills in Bloomfield Township, Michigan.
Chicago will be one of the largest US markets to have hosted the Ryder Cup and, as a popular visitor destination in its own right, that should translate into a large economic return, with significant spending at hotels, restaurants, golf courses and tourist hot spots.
Warren Wilkinson, chief marketing officer of Choose Chicago, the city's tourism bureau, said: "The Ryder Cup gives us a chance to showcase Chicago to a market where we're keen on driving visitation."
Golf's links to the boardroom are long-established, and multi-national corporations have been quick to take advantage of the return of the Ryder Cup to USA, with hospitality sales for this year's contest at record levels.
More than 350 companies from 31 US states and 12 overseas companies have purchased sponsorship packages. These include a record 76 chalets, at prices ranging from $237,000 for a structure that can accommodate 50 people, to $1 million for one of two 300-person venues.
Larry Sinclair, the PGA's director of corporate hospitality sales for the tournament, had initially put together a package of 53 chalet and clubhouse deals, but was forced to expand that to 76 to accommodate "unprecedented" demand.
Michael Belot, director of the 2012 Ryder Cup, said: "The Ryder Cup is one of the preeminent events in all of sports, and the successful hospitality sales we’ve seen are a true testament to the incredible excitement around this event coming to the great city of Chicago."
The organisers of the 2014 Ryder Cup, to be staged at Gleneagles in Scotland, are already doing their sums, anticipating a five-fold return on the £20 million ($32.4 million) they are paying to host the event.
A Scottish government delegation, led by first minister Alex Salmond, is at Medinah for this year's Ryder Cup, to promote sport, trade and culture ahead of the 2014 contest, and attract as many golf fans to Scotland as possible.
Sports minister Shona Robison said the overall economic boost from the Ryder Cup could top £100 million which, on a £20 million outlay, she described as "pretty good value for money."
The last Ryder Cup, won by Europe at Celtic Manor in Newport, Wales in 2010, boosted the country's economy by £82.4 million, according to an economic impact study that took into account money spent on and off site, local travel, and any extended stays by visitors.
Despite inclement weather, the sporting spotlight was focused on Wales and the total attendance came to 244,000.
The economic impact on south east Wales was in the order of £74.6 million and Newport specifically benefited to the tune of £28.3 million.
The figures excluded extra spending by visitors linked to the fact that the event was extended by a day because of heavy rain.