Toledo expecting 150,000+ for Solheim Cup

Published: Mar. 18, 2021 at 3:54 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - When the Solheim Cup comes to northwest Ohio, it’s expected to bring more than 150,000 spectators with it.

The Toledo City Council Planning Committee was updated Thursday on the coordination behind the LPGA’s most boisterous tournament, mixing team pride with the top talent in the world.

“This is the most prestigious team event in the world for women’s golf,” said Becky Newell, a Maumee native and the tournament director for the Solheim Cup. “It will be the 17th edition of the tournament that features the top 12 players each from North America and Europe. Unlike most events which are quiet and reserved for most of play, this one is different. You can be patriotic and loud and cheer. If you enjoy those things, this event is for you.”

The tournament has had the coronavirus pandemic hanging over its head for more than a year, though organizers do not think it will be an issue, with 15,000 fans from Europe alone expected to attend.

The city is looking to make an impression nationally and globally in its preparation, focusing on traffic control, fan experience and construction coordination.

“The Seagate Hotel site will be graded and leveled by the time the cup comes to town,” Cody Brown, the city’s liaison between the LPGA and the Planning Committee said. “We’ve expedited projects on Summit Street, the Jefferson Cycle Track and the Dorr Street interchange, so the city looks as good as it can by the time the Solheim Cup begins.”

The 2017 tournament in Des Moines generated $32 million in economic impact, and Toledo wants to take full advantage.

The first practices for players start on Tuesday, August 31, with events kicking off downtown as well, with a Solheim After Sundown event at Hensville. Those preliminary events will continue through the week, capping off on Friday with opening ceremonies at Promenade Park with fireworks and a concert.

A major recording artist has been signed to perform a live concert that Friday as well, though the name is being kept under wraps for now, with organizes saying only that it was a ‘her’ and that she ‘puts on a great show.’

Businesses will be contacted in May to plan for the additional activities, and the city will take on a temporary co-branding effort, working the Solheim Cup into flags, welcome signs and even temporary markings on Toledo city vehicles.

Primetime broadcasts will appear on NBC and the Golf Channel.

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