Hawaii in talks to host PGA's season opener

HONOLULU -- The Hawaii Tourism Authority is negotiating a six-year deal with the Professional Golfer's Association to begin its annual tour of tournaments here in return for a yearly payment of $1.8 million.

A sports marketing firm called Team Hawaii was hired to negotiate on behalf of the HTA, said Team Hawaii president Tom Kiely.

The contract under negotiation calls for the PGA tour to start in Hawaii and that six PGA events be held in the state each year.

Kiely told the HTA during a recent board meeting that 10 million to 15 million television viewers will watch PGA events over a period of days during the beginning of the tour each year.

The exposure is an equivalent of $15 million to $18 million in advertising the state's tourism product, according to Kiely.

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