SAN ANTONIO — Despite previously saying the Texas Valero Open would be played without fans in attendance, in efforts to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, the PGA Tour is now officially axing the San Antonio event.
The update comes via the PGA Tour's social media, where the organization stated:
"We have pledged from the start to be responsible, thoughtful and transparent with our decision process. We did everything possible to create a safe environment for our players in order to continue the event throughout the weekend, and we were endeavoring to give our fans a much-needed respite from the current climate. But at this point – and as the situation continues to rapidly change – the right thing to do for our players and our fans is to pause."
The event was scheduled to take place from April 2 to April 5.
Also canceled is THE PLAYERS Championship, as well as all other PGA Tour events that was scheduled to take place ahead of the Valero Texas Open.
Before the official cancellation, KENS 5 talked to Ric Jensen, a senior lecturer in sports and advanced concentration at UTSA, who said the absence of fans may have impacted the local charities that typically benefit from the tournament. Now the impact maybe even stronger.
"The essence of the Valero Texas Open is a way to raise money to bless all the people of San Antonio wrapped around a golf tournament," Jensen said.
"I would suppose that much of the revenue they raised for charities is based on how many people buy tickets, how many people attend, how many people buy luxury suites, how much people spend while they're there," he added. "So, it would seem as though maybe even if they don't have fans there, that could be a hurdle that might limit how much money they can raise."
The Valero Texas Open was first played in 1922, and it's the third-oldest PGA Tour tournament, only younger than the Western Open (1899) and Canadian Open (1904).
Jensen said the lack of spectators at the event may also have an impact on the economy as well.
"For people who are in the business of hosting events, hosting venues and things, they're expecting to get this great economic shot in the arm," said Jensen. "And now when you don't have fans coming, it's really going to limit how much money they can go ahead and earn."
Every tournament has been played in San Antonio, and it is the oldest Professional Golf Tour tournament to have been held in the same city its entire existence.
This would have been the 11th year that TPC San Antonio had hosted the tournament.
Individual ticket purchases will be refunded.