Economic impact of PGA Championship at Whistling Straits expected to be tens of millions

SHEBOYGAN -- The PGA Championship at Whistling Straits is bringing thousands of golf fans to the popular course near Kohler -- and play hasn't even started yet! The economic impact of the tournament is expected to be tens of millions of dollars.

Ahead of the start of the PGA Championship on Monday, August 10th, this weekend, the PGA Championship merchandise pavilion opened to the public at Whistling Straits.

Mike Quirk, the senior director of marketing for the PGA, says the massive, 36,000 square foot tent is actually the only place in Wisconsin where golf gurus can buy PGA Championship gear.

It will be open to fans throughout the tournament -- but this Saturday and Sunday, it was open to the public for FREE!

"It's been an even sell -- men's and women's, to accessories, to head-wear," Quirk said.

The size of this tent-turned-department-store is a metaphor for the economic impact of the PGA Championship on Sheboygan County and the state of Wisconsin.

"The last PGA Championship that had an economic study, impact study done was the 2013 PGA in Rochester, New York and what the state of New York found was the positive economic impact from the PGA Championship was north of $102 million," Jason Mengel, Championship Director for the 2015 PGA Championship said.

It is expected there will be more than 80,000 transactions inside the PGA Championship merchandise pavilion prior to and during the championship.

David Cecchini and his wife, Kurry were able to check out the merchandise first-hand. They served as volunteer cashiers for the merchandise pavilion. They were surprised by how fast golf gear is going out the door.

"I didn't think there would be that many coming through here today, but that's good for them," David Cecchini said.

And the merchandise pavilion is only part of the PGA Championship's economic impact.

"Of course there's hotel room nights and meals out in the community and taxes generated through sales like in the golf shop here," Mengel said.

We're told it is estimated that the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits has generated more than 1,000 short-term and long-term jobs.

The 2015 PGA Championship begins on Monday, August 10th and continues through Sunday, August 16th.

The PGA of America and Kohler Co. have announced a sell-out of daily grounds tickets for Saturday and Sunday Championship-round play at the 2015 PGA Championship, with only limited daily tickets remaining available for Thursday and Friday Championship rounds at Whistling Straits.

Tickets for practice rounds – which begin Monday – also remain available for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and are a great opportunity for fans to see the best players in the world up close and in a more relaxed environment.

“We are thrilled to announce a sell-out of Saturday and Sunday Championship-round tickets for the 2015 PGA Championship here at Whistling Straits,” said Jason Mengel, Director of the 2015 PGA Championship. “The excitement we’ve seen for this Championship has been remarkable at every level – from the state of Wisconsin and regionally throughout the Midwest, to nationally across the U.S. and globally around the world. I would encourage any fans who have yet to purchase tickets to act now and join us for a major week ahead.”

All weekly ticket options for the 2015 PGA Championship sold out last year, and earlier this summer, the 2015 PGA Championship broke the all-time PGA Championship record for combined ticket sales and corporate hospitality revenue. The previous record was held by the 2004 PGA Championship, which was also played at Whistling Straits.

All remaining daily tickets to the 2015 PGA Championship can be purchased one of two ways: In-person at the PGA Championship Admissions Sales and Will Call office at the Main Spectator Entrance or online at Fans who purchase remaining tickets online must pick them up at the Will Call office on-site (tickets will not be shipped).

Prices for remaining daily tickets are as follows (prices include all taxes and fees):

    As a reminder for fans, every ticketed adult may bring up to four juniors (age 17 and under) with them for free each day of the 2015 PGA Championship. Junior tickets may be picked up on-site at the Admission Sales & Will Call Office at the Championship Entrance on the day of admission. For Wanamaker Club access, junior tickets may be upgraded at a cost of $25 (accompanying adult must already have a Wanamaker Club ticket).

    To honor the men and women who serve our country in the United States Armed Forces, The PGA of America is also pleased to offer Active Duty, Military Retirees, Active Reserve, National Guard, Department of Defense Civilians and their accompanying spouse complimentary Daily Grounds tickets. Upon arrival, Military personnel should go to the Admissions and Will Call Office to present their Military ID in exchange for Daily Grounds tickets.

    The hours for championship week are as follows:

    Monday - Wednesday: 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
    Thursday - Friday: 6:15 a.m. to 7:45 p.m.
    Saturday - Sunday: 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

    Player start times are as follows:

    Monday - Wednesday: 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

    Thursday - Friday: 6:45 a.m. to 7:15 p.m.
    Saturday - Sunday: 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    CLICK HERE for the PGA Championship Spectator Guide

    CLICK HERE for much more on the PGA Championship -- including the latest news and the television broadcast schedule

    CLICK HERE to learn more about Whistling Straits