Prattville May Lose 2013 LPGA Tournament


By Ashley Thompson

The 2013 LPGA tournament schedule has been released and Prattville is not on it. If the tournament does not stop in Prattville this year, the city could see negative effects.

Douglas Shumway has worked at the Prattville Marriott during the tournament for several years. He says when it comes to town, business is booming.

"People from all over the world are in here," he says. "The town makes millions of dollars off of the event and we stay packed out here at the hotel."

But without the tournament, his hotel will most likely not be packed during the week the LPGA comes. And he says other cities may feel similar consequences.

"All the hotels will take a huge hit on that," he says. "It's not just Prattville. Prattville, Mongomery, Millbrook and all the surrounding areas of Prattville will also take a hit."

The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail lost their title sponsor Navistar late last year and as a result lost significant funding. Since then, the golf course hasn't been able to land another sponsor, which is critical for the tournament. But Mike Beverly, the trail's Director of Golf, told us they have not yet closed the door on a 2013 LPGA stop.

"We've been in negotiations with LPGA and talks ever since they made the announcement that Navistar is not coming back last fall. So basically we kind of still have the date set aside and are trying to secure a sponsor for 2013, if not then for 2014," he explains.

The city of Prattville reaps financial benefits long after the tournament leaves town and Prattville Mayor Bill Gillespie Jr. says that's something that cannot be overlooked.

"The revenue sources that it brings in is not something that you see overnight. You don't see it the week before, the week during or the week after but it's a residual effect for the whole year," says Gillespie.

There is still time to secure a sponsor for the tournament but without one, Prattville will not be a stop this year.