South Carolina and the PGA Scorecard

An occasional contributor to this site, “Abba Joe” commented on my post “Haley Opposes SC Bailout For PGA Tourney.”  I get a lot of very thoughtful comments – usually better written than the original posts – but AJ’s is so thorough and speaks to the economics of the issue so well, I decided to make it a piece unto itself.

Let me get this straight. We’re giving $10 million to this tournament, partially because “it supports hundreds of jobs…”

…for one week.

Also, we didn’t lose Darlington because of lack of support. NASCAR wanted a “higher end” brand of racing, so they took it and moved it to tracks out west where nobody is showing up. If we told NASCAR we’d give them $10 million to bring the race back, they’d do it in a heartbeat. And that brings more out-of-state visitors than the Heritage, by a mile.

And if it’s such a money-maker, why do they need the $10 million? Why is Verizon pulling out?

Their financials for 2009 were pretty good:

“Continued cash flow growth in 4Q 2009: $31.6 billion in cash flow from operations in 2009, up $4.0 billion, or 14.5 percent, from 2008. Net loss of $0.23 per share is improved from $0.43 per share in 4Q 2008.

In the fourth quarter 2009, Verizon’s total operating revenues grew 9.9 percent to $27.1 billion, compared with the fourth quarter 2008. This includes revenues from Alltel, which Verizon acquired in January 2009. On a pro forma basis (consolidating the operating results of Verizon and the former Alltel as though the acquisition had occurred on Jan. 1, 2008), fourth-quarter 2009 operating revenue growth was 0.2 percent, compared with the fourth quarter 2008.

For 2009, annual operating revenues totaled $107.8 billion, an increase of 10.7 percent from 2008 on a reported basis and 1.5 percent on a pro forma basis.

Cash flow from operations totaled $31.6 billion in 2009, up 14.5 percent, or $4.0 billion, from 2008. Free cash flow (non-GAAP; cash flow from operations less capital expenditures) totaled $14.5 billion in 2009, up $4.2 billion from 2008. Verizon’s capital expenditures were $17.0 billion in 2009, compared with $17.2 billion in 2008.”

Sounds like they’re doing better financially than the state of South Carolina.

It better be called, “The Heritage Golf Tournament, presented by the Taxpayers of South Carolina.” If they put that in big letters every time the tournament is written about, and had it on every logo-t-shirt, hat, golf towel, newspaper ad, and TV shot, I’d be all for it.

The part that’s really bad is that it’s coming from our emergency insurance fund. That’s a great idea.

Do I get tickets?

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