Woods' appearance brings millions to Oz economy

Updated: 2010-01-05 10:16
Large Medium Small

MELBOURNE, Australia: Tiger Woods' $3 million appearance fee for playing in - and winning - the Australian Masters in November has paid dividends for the Victorian state economy.

Acting state Premier Rob Hulls said on Tuesday that Woods' appearance at Kingston Heath Golf Club injected A$34 million ($31 million) into the economy, far higher than forecast.

Woods won the Australian Masters on November 15, his last tournament before a November 27 accident at his home when he ran his car over a fire hydrant and into a tree.

Related readings:
Woods' appearance brings millions to Oz economy Woods loses AT&T sponsorship
Woods' appearance brings millions to Oz economy Top 10 questions for 2010
Woods' appearance brings millions to Oz economy World's top 10 sports news 2009
Woods' appearance brings millions to Oz economy Disney makes jokes of Tiger Woods
Woods' appearance brings millions to Oz economy Tiger halts column, Alfredsson says cheating was no secret

Since then, Woods has been enveloped in an infidelity scandal that has seen him remain out of the public eye and announce that he would take an indefinite break from golf.

State taxpayers paid about half of Woods' appearance fee.

"This was truly a great event for Melbourne and Victoria that delivered a massive boost to our tourism industry, attracted thousands of visitors to our state and beamed Melbourne to a global audience," Hulls said while launching an economic impact study into the November event.

"Original projections were that the ... Masters would generate a A$19 million ($17.3 million) boost to the Victorian economy but, due to unprecedented ticket sales and public interest, the actual impact was almost double what was forecast."

Hulls said Melbourne's major hotels were almost completely booked out during the Masters and golf courses across the state reported a surge in bookings. He said there were also economic spinoffs for restaurants, taxis and the retail sector.

A sellout crowd of more than 107,000 attended the four-day Masters and thousands more the Wednesday pro-am and practice days.