Nationwide Tour to skip Chattanooga in 2012
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- The Nationwide Tour won't tee it up in Chattanooga in 2012, but the event won't fall into the same category as other high-profile sporting events that have left town never to return.
At least, that's the hope.
"We had some long days and long evenings trying to work things out, but in the end it was tough to get a date for 2012," tournament director Mickey McCamish said Tuesday. "It was a collective decision on all sides to instead just look forward to 2013."
The Nationwide Tour's new playoff format, which will be similar to the postseason on the PGA Tour, required Chattanooga's Children's Hospital Classic to switch its date. However, construction at Black Creek Club made it difficult to find an option early in the season.
The next-best date looked to be Labor Day weekend, but many of the qualifying courses, as well as Black Creek, already have club and local tournaments scheduled for the surrounding dates.
"It just started to become a difficult fit," McCamish said of the schedule change.
Financial concerns also played a role.
The tournament, which has had difficulty securing a title sponsor in the past, will likely have a spring date on the 2013 Nationwide Tour schedule. If that is the case, a Labor Day event in 2012 would have fallen in the same fiscal year for potential sponsors.
"The financial element is obviously huge," McCamish said. "We didn't want to get into a position where we might not be able to have the sponsors commit both years because of the way it fell with September and a spring date within the fiscal calendar."
Chattanooga has dealt with the loss of the FCS National Championship Game, the TSSAA Traditional Wrestling Tournament and the Southern Conference Basketball Tournament in recent years.
McCamish is optimistic that won't be the case with the Nationwide Tour.
"We're all now working in that direction," he said of the 2013 event. "It's everybody's goal to bring the Classic back."