Newsom seeks private funds for golf deal 

Mayor Gavin Newsom called opponents of a PGA Tour agreement that would bring five elite golf events to San Francisco "shortsighted," and said The City is turning to the private sector to allay concerns that the events would be money-losers.

Some members of the Board of Supervisors had indicated that they would not support the agreement with the PGA Tour because when Harding Park Golf Course last hosted a tour event — the October 2005 American Express Championship, which featured a playoff between Tiger Woods and John Daly — The City ended up losing $141,619.

The agreement wouldbring five first-class PGA Tour events to city-run Harding Park in coming years, including the Presidents Cup in 2009. Similar to the deal in 2005, the tour would pay The City $500,000 per event and also put $500,000 into the First Tee Program.

"Other municipalities are paying to get these tournaments into their cities and here we are arguing for what amounts, at the end of the day, [to] an insignificant amount of money," Newsom said. "It’s insignificant compared to the long-term benefits."

In an effort to sway opponents, Newsom said, "We’re out there talking to the private sector trying to get the money committed" to pay for any city losses.

Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, who helped negotiate the agreement, postponed Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors vote on the agreement until May 1, with the expectation that he could move quickly to secure at least the six votes needed for its approval by convincing private companies to contribute money.

Supervisor Ed Jew, who opposes the agreement as it stands, said that if he has assurance that The City will break even when hosting the PGA Tour events, he would support it.

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