Could Byron Nelson Championship Move to Dallas?

Dallas mayor expresses desire to bring golf tournament to South Dallas

By Christine Lee
|  Friday, Nov 30, 2012  |  Updated 7:41 PM CDT
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Fighting to Keep the Byron Nelson Golf Tournament in Irving

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With plans for a new world-class golf course in South Dallas, speculation is swirling about the tournament's future home.

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Fighting to Keep the Byron Nelson Golf Tournament in Irving

With a big announcement in Dallas about a brand new Golf Course, the city of Irving is fighting to keep the Byron Nelson golf tournament in the city.
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Speculation that the Byron Nelson Championship could eventually move to Dallas are swirling, but organizers said it's too soon to think that far ahead.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings expressed a desire to bring the golf tournament to Dallas during the announcement of the Trinity Forest project in South Dallas, which is expected to include a world-class golf course,

The Byron Nelson Championship has been in Irving since 1983. A contractual agreement keeps tournament in Las Colinas through the year 2018.

"We have for a long time now put on a very successful, top-of-class event that attracts a lot of people and raises a lot of money," said Charley Spradley, president of the Salesmanship Club of Dallas."[There are] no plans to change that at all for right now and in the years to come."

As the Las Colinas area continues to develop, Irving's convention and visitors bureau is doing everything it can to try to keep the tournament in the city even longer.

"We did an economic impact study back in 2000 [that] put the value of the tournament to the regional economy at about $40 million," said Maura Gast, convention and visitors bureau executive director.

The event attracts up to 250,000 people, she said.

"2018 has been on everybody's radar in Irving for a long time, and we will work very, very closely with the Salesmanship Club and the Four Seasons to figure out what we need to do to keep the tournament here," Gast said.

Spradley said that while he's openly supporting the new Dallas facility, the Salesmanship Club of Dallas has no functional role in building the project.

"We think this is good for the city of Dallas," he said. "But again, we're putting on our tournament in Irving, and we are excited about that, and we have great plans for 2013, 2014 and the years behind."

The Salesmanship Club of Dallas also announced that AT&T will replace Hewlett-Packard as the tournament's title sponsor beginning in 2015.

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