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Marathon Classic will be played without spectators

Organizers made the decision after consulting with the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department
Published: Jul. 16, 2020 at 12:38 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - There will be no spectators in attendance at the Marathon Classic this year. Organizers made the announcement on Thursday after consulting with the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department, saying “the safety of spectators, volunteers, staff, and the LPGA athletes remains the top priority.”

The Marathon Classic, which will take place at the Highland Meadows Golf Club from August 3-9, is set to be the second stop on the LPGA Tour since it was halted in February due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. According to a press release about the announcement, tournament organizers said, “the Marathon LPGA Classic team has worked diligently to create the best possible community-focused event that the current climate will allow.”

“I applaud Marathon Petroleum, Dana and the entire tournament team for working so hard to protect the health and safety of everyone involved in their event and the northwest Ohio community,” LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan said. “This was a difficult decision as fans have always been a big part of the Marathon LPGA Classic presented by Dana. I hope our fans will watch all four rounds of the Marathon LPGA Classic on The Golf Channel this year, but also rejoin us for an epic year in 2021, where we’ll not only be back in Toledo for the Marathon LPGA Classic but also for the 2021 Solheim Cup.”

“The organizers of the Marathon Classic and the LPGA have made the right decision in not allowing fans to attend this year,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “I know it was a difficult decision, but they have made the right call to put the health and safety of players and fans first.”

A lot of people expected changes because of the pandemic. While they’re disappointed, there’s a lot of understanding and support for the decision. Through the years the tournament has brought a lot of money to the region. In fact it is a multi-million dollar shot in the arm every year.

Michelle Sprott is the Executive Director of the Sylvania Area Chamber of Commerce. “It will definitely have an economic impact, and we will feel it going into 2021 but we are much more concerned with the overall health and vitality of our area, she said.”

Like most business in downtown Sylvania, Katie Fields says Inside the Five Brewing Company sees a big bump in business tournament week. “It brings a lot of new customers to us because they are here for the tournament, so we will miss all that. However, we are still having a tournament and we understand the need for the change. We are looking forward to next year,” said Fields.

Initially, organizers were planning to offer free admission to frontline healthcare workers and grocery store employees, as well as military, firefighters, police officers, and EMS. Due to the changes, they now say that offer will be extended to next year’s tournament, which is planned for July 5-11 at the Highland Meadows Golf Club.

“While we are extremely sad that spectators won’t be able to attend this year’s tournament we know it is the right thing to do for the safety of the community, our sponsors, volunteers, and LPGA players,” said Executive Director Judd Silverman. “The good news is that all four rounds of the tournament will be nationally televised live on The Golf Channel and we still have the opportunity to raise money for the 25 northwest Ohio children’s charities that will benefit from this year’s tournament.”

If you are interested in donating to the 2020 Marathon LPGA Classic charities, you can do so by texting KIDSWIN to 74121. A list of the benefiting 25 local children’s charities can be found at MarathonClassic.com/Charities.

Copyright 2020 WTVG. All rights reserved.

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