Oneida Nation drops LPGA sponsorship

ONEIDA, Wis. (WBAY) - The Oneida Nation will no longer sponsor the LPGA for its Thornberry Creek Classic after three years.

Minutes from the Oneida Business Committee meeting in July, just weeks after the tournament, show the committee voted 5-3 to end title sponsorship funding.

A report from the Oneida Business Committee in April showed the Thornberry Creek Classic didn't meet the Oneida Nation's financial goals in its first two years, and it had lowered hopes for the third.

A lot of money was spent before the first tournament in 2017 to upgrade the Thornberry Creek golf course to LPGA standards, add grandstands and update equipment, plus improvements for directing traffic and for parking.

But according to the report on the first two years, revenue from admissions was lower than expected, and most of the visitors were from Wisconsin -- and half of those from Brown or Outagamie counties -- so the expected revenue from overnight hotel stays and casino visitors wasn't realized, either.

The event also didn't meet its sponsorship goals, partly because of restrictions that required "cold calling" companies to be potential sponsors.

Merchandise and concession sales did exceed expectations, but not nearly enough to make up the difference.

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