Legends not returning to Savannah - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Legends not returning to Savannah

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After seven months of uncertainty, Savannah has learned that the ChampionsTour will not be returning to the city in 2014.

With Liberty Mutual Insurance previously deciding to discontinue their sponsorship of the Legends, and no local sponsor stepping forward, the Tour informed the Westin Savannah Harbor Resort that it would not be coming back next year, ending an 11-year run on Hutchinson Island and potentially leaving a hole in Savannah's spring sports schedule.

"We've had a great run with the Champions Tour and Liberty Mutual, but as the old saying goes, some great things have to end,'' said Mark Spadoni, General Manager of the Westin Savannah Harbor Resort, which has hosted the event since its arrival in Savannah in 2003. "It would not be a surprise for anyone to learn it was disappointing when we heard we were losing the event, but out of difficulty comes opportunity.''

Spadoni said the Westin will try to get back on the Champions Tour schedule as early as 2015 and that there could be a pro-am or exhibition event at The Club at Savannah Harbor next year to bridge the absence.

The Savannah Harbor Foundation has already had discussions with the Heritage Classic Foundation, organizers of the PGA Tour's RBC Heritage, about possibly partnering on an tournament in Savannah that would benefit both groups.

Spadoni's long-term goal is landing another Champions Tour event.

"It's more than just a weekend event, it's a reason for the community to come together,'' said Spadoni. "I think the community benefited from the event. I love this community and my hope is that we can put together an event that everybody can get behind.''

While Savannah was left wondering about the future of the Legends since before this year's event ended, Spadoni said the potential of a new event could be known much more quickly.

"My hope would be that we get some interest going in the next 60 to 90 days,'' he said, "and that we take this down time before the Tour ramps up again next year and we get them talking about returning officially to Savannah in 2015.''

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