Akron stands to lose $25M if Bridgestone Invitational leaves Firestone Country Club

(Source: WOIO)
(Source: WOIO)
(Source: WOIO)
(Source: WOIO)

AKRON, OH (WOIO) - Professional golf insider John Feinstein tweeted Akron is losing the Bridgestone Invitational, and said a PGA Senior tournament could replace the Invitational in 2019.

The move could cost the city millions of dollars, and end a 65-year partnership with Firestone Country Club that has drawn in thousands of fans over the years.

"It would be a shame," said Rick Rebadow, the executive vice president of the Greater Akron Chamber.

He knows if the Bridgestone Invitational pulls out, his 1,600-member organization would really feel the pain.

"Between $24 and $30 million of economic impact. About a million dollars for charities each year. Regardless of what transpires here we have proven the community and the venue can work for a world class championship event like this," said Rebadow.

FedEx, a major PGA sponsor, wants the St. Jude Classic to become a World of Golf Champions event.

That would raise a scheduling conflict with Bridgestone here at Firestone.

"It became a big deal for The Diamond Grille because the previous owner Nick Thomas...invited a lot of the golfers back to his restaurant and they came," he said.

"We're just really sorry to hear that. It's been such a big week for us for so many years...It's just an historic course," said current Diamond Grille owner Katie Stack.

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