MEDINAH, Ill. (CBS) – Fans are traveling the Chicago area for the rare and prestigious Ryder Cup golf tournament, and that has many people here seeing dollar signs.
It only happens once every two years, alternating between Europe and the United States.
Medinah Country Club, the latest location, was a hub of activity Friday as workers set the stage for the largest golf tournament in the world. Director of Golf Mike Scully says it’s akin to combining recent Chicago sports championships.
“Wrap all those into one,” he says.
This 600-acre course will host the international event that pits American’s best golfers against a European team.
How did Medinah snag the event? Scully says the Chicago-area location and its proximity to O’Hare helped.
Forty to fifty thousand spectators, along with PGA officials, and media from across the globe are expected. It’s predicted they’ll spend $135 million dollars in the Chicago area, most of it going to businesses DuPage County.
“They will be spending money for approximately 10 days,” says Skip Strittmatter, CEO of the DuPage County Convention Bureau.
The owner of Cucina Casale in downtown Itasca is one of many shops getting ready for the crowds. He expects the tournament to add an extra $10,000 to sales next week.
“The weekend’s completely gone … already booked,” Reno Cocilovo says.
The Eaglewood Resort is also booked. It provides 300 of the 16,000 hotel rooms that are already filled in suburbs surrounding Medinah.
If you don’t have a ticket to the Ryder Cup, it’s probably too late. The event is sold out.
But if you’d like to buy some Ryder Cup merchandise, Medinah will be open to the public this weekend.