Bridgestone Invitational officials not commenting directly on reports they may move the PGA Tournament event out of Akron after next year. Instead, they're saying they're "focused" on the August tournament, which will be held for the 65th year in August, 2018.
In response to a report published by Crains Cleveland Business that said 2018 may be the last year for the event here, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan released a statement that says in part, "For one week every summer, the eyes of the golf world are on Akron, and it is truly an honor for our community to welcome some of the world's greatest athletes and 30 thousand visitors to our celebrated Firestone Country Club." (Full text of Mayor's Statement, below)
Statement from Akron Mayor, Dan Horrigan:
“For one week every summer, the eyes of the golf world are on Akron, Ohio. It is truly an honor for our community to welcome some the world’s greatest athletes and 30,000 visitors to our celebrated Firestone Country Club each day of the Bridgestone Invitational. Not only does this tournament generate hundreds of jobs and tens of millions of dollars in economic activity for local restaurants, hotels, and businesses; it also raises more than a million dollars in charitable support for beloved local organizations like Akron Children’s Hospital and the LeBron James Family Foundation.
However, this event is about more than its financial impact—hosting the Bridgestone Invitational is a point of pride for the Akron community. Watching the world’s best golfers compete in this championship on our home turf is a personal privilege for me, both as Mayor and a lifelong fan of the game. The City works closely with the Tournament each year to encourage our residents and employees to volunteer and participate in the event, and we look forward to continuing to build on our distinguished 50+ year history with the World Golf Championships. While the current agreement ends in 2018, we will work in coordination with our local business community, our partners at the PGA, and tournament stakeholders to do all we can to ensure that Akron and the historic Firestone Country Club remain the home of this premier event for many years to come.” - Mayor Dan Horrigan