REGIONAL PGA event to tee off inMcKinney
Byron Nelson A NEW HOME FOR THE TPC Craig Ranch will host the AT&T Byron Nelson tournament. This map shows the course and the road closures surrounding the tournament 5 a.m.-10 p.m. May 9-16.
BY MIRANDA JAIMES
structures have gone up along with the installation of generators and ber line for scoring, Drago said. Walter added that this includes creating corporate hospitality venues around Hole 17 and its surroundings, set up as tented pavilions, with food and beverages and some indoor air-conditioned spaces. This helps create an electric atmosphere during the nal round of the tournament, he said. Planning during a pandemic came with additional challenges. John Jen- kins, the chair of the golf board, said Walter and his teamhad to essentially plan three dierent tournaments under dierent pandemic scenarios. In early March the tournament was approved to host 10,000 fans a day, which helps serve as a baseline, Jen- kins said. That number could increase come tournament time as more people become vaccinated. Additional COVID-19 precautions include contactless tickets, prohibiting cash and enforcing masks, Drago said. New technology has also been brought in, such as a security gate that allows people to go through without remov- ing items from their bags or pockets. This helps reduce touch points even more, Drago said. In a typical year the tournament could host 200,000 people over the course of the week, Drago said. Past years have also featured concerts to attract evenmore people and create a party atmosphere for the whole community, not just the golf fans. Fewer fans and events this year may end up aecting howmuchmoney the tournament raises. The Byron Nelson’s primary purpose is to raise funds for the Momentous Institute. Over 53 years, $167 million has been raised for the nonprot founded and operated by the Salesmanship Club. The institute works to build and repair social and emotional health with children, families and communities. McKinney’s commitment has been so strong that the tournament was able to fully fund its programs with the institute this year, even with 10,000 fans, Drago said. And the program expects to grow in future years as the tournament’s presence in McKinney grows. Drago said he expects the 10,000 fans to be about 20% of what the tournament could
For the rst time in 70 years, the AT&T Byron Nelson golf tournament will be played outside Dallas County as the city of McKinney plays host at TPC Craig Ranch. It starts May 16. Securing the tournament is some- thing Byron Nelson ocials credit to the signicant support of Craig Ranch and the city of McKinney. The tourna- ment creates an estimated economic benet in the range of $40million-$50 million annually, according to eco- nomic studies. The Byron Nelson is a weeklong event with four days of competition designed to celebrate golf, ocials said. The televised event serves as a stop on the PGA Tour. In addition to drawing international attention to McKinney, the tournament brings visitors and business opportunities alike. “When visitors come to the city and spendmoney at our local restaurants and hotels, they are infusing new ‘outside’ money into our economy, which helps save tax dollars for each community household,” Visit McKin- ney Executive Director Dee-dee Guerra said in an email. Bringing intheByronNelson Tournament Director Jon Drago called holding the event inMcKinney “refreshing.” “There’s a clear energy for sure around the whole community,” Drago said. “The support and the excitement, that’s what motivates us.” The Byron Nelson has opened an oce at Craig Ranch to stay active and engaged in the community, even when it is not tournament season, Drago said. “We are just excited in every way, shape and form,” said JeWalter, the 2021 AT&T Byron Nelson Tournament volunteer chair. “The whole Collin County community … and a whole slew of people showed us that they can handle it and that they were going to be wonderful hosts and that they would do what it took to help us get it done, and so far, they really have.” TPC Craig Ranch has had a few tweaks to ocially cement it for the Byron Nelson since the tournament was approved to host fans inMarch. Floors have gone down, and tent
Hole 11 Hole 12
The 17th hole will be the center of the action at the AT&T Byron Nelson with signature suites and viewing boxes.
RENDERING COURTESY AT&T BYRON NELSON TOURNAMENT
Collin McKinney Parkway closed from Boston to Weiskopf
TPC Drive closed from Van Tuyl Parkway to Henneman Way Henneman westbound only from Weiskopf to TPC Drive
TPC Drive southbound only from Henneman to SH 121 access road
THE NAME OF THE GAME The AT&T Byron Nelson celebrates the life and legacy of Byron Nelson. He was a
humanitarian and a professional golfer with 54 career victories, including two Masters titles.
SOURCE: AT&T BYRON NELSON TOURNAMENT COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
MAP NOT TO SCALE N SRT TOLL
eventually host at Craig Ranch. “The opportunities are just end- less,” Drago said. “We want to grow this tournament at the same pace that McKinney and Collin County are growing, and we want to be a part of that fabric for a really long time.” The tournament not only brings the televised coverage, but also the 150-plus professional golfers and everyone who travels with them
and the PGA Tour, which will boost restaurants and hotels in the area, Jenkins said. “It’s like any other big event, and there is denitely a hard dollars and cents impact on the community itself,” he said. “That’s what’s so
much fun about really having partner- ships like this, is there isn’t an, ‘I win, you lose’ proposition. It’s very much a win-win for everybody involved.” COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM
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