Despite the COVID-19 epidemic, there will be an American Century Championship golf tournament this summer in Lake Tahoe.
However, one huge difference: there will be no spectators when the 31st annual American Century Championship takes place July 8-12 on the shores of Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course. Only the celebrity players and essential tournament staff will be allowed on the course. All will be required to follow social distancing guidelines.
NBC Sports, tournament partners at Edgewood Tahoe and host hotels have developed a comprehensive safety plan that includes enhanced cleaning protocols at both the course and hotels, and also include on-course sanitation stations and restrictions on large organized dinners and evening events.
Title sponsor American Century Investments, NBC Sports and the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority (LTVA) decided to move forward with the original July 8-12 dates. That timing coincides with the resurgent tourism industry amid America’s emergence from COVID-19 lockdowns and the availability of the top-name celebrities who have brought the tournament to prominence since its Lake Tahoe debut in 1990.
“Once our due diligence established that the tournament could be conducted safely, we were compelled to do everything possible to go forward in support of our friends in the Lake Tahoe resort community, who have hosted the event for 30 years,” stated American Century Investments CEO Jonathan Thomas. “We’re excited to bring a live, competitive sporting event to TV viewers, something that has been deeply missed over the past few months.”
Stephen Curry, Aaron Rodgers, Charles Barkley and two-time defending champion Tony Romo are among 80 sports and entertainment stars planning to compete. There will be nine hours of live NBC Sports coverage over three days at Edgewood.
All prize monies will be donated to COVID-19 relief and area non-profits as the tournament continues its longstanding commitment to charity fundraising efforts that have totaled more than $5 million over the years.
“While this 31st edition will be different than any previous tournament, this demonstrates a unique example of prominent stakeholders supporting each other, and in turn, the destination and the community that absolutely loves this event,” said Carol Chaplin, president and CEO of the LTVA. “It signals an important message of renewal for Lake Tahoe.”
Romo, the former Dallas Cowboys’ All-Pro quarterback and NFL television analyst, expressed his support for the decision.
“The event has a tremendous tradition and is critical to that beautiful resort region,” Romo said. “It’ll be fun to try to win again, but the sense of community and charity fundraising will be most important.”
The competition is a 54-hole modified Stableford format tournament often referred to as the Super Bowl of celebrity golf. Other expected golfers include NFL Hall of Famer Jerry Rice and NFL coaches Sean Payton, Matt Nagy and Frank Reich. Entertainment personalities include Ray Romano, Alfonso Ribeiro and Larry the Cable Guy. A total of 13 Hall of Famers and 19 active NFL, NBA and NHL players are expected.
First-time golfers who have committed include Chris Harrison of The Bachelor, former baseball stars Adrian Beltre, Chase Utley and Brian McCann.
For more information, contact Weidinger Public Relations at 775 588-2412.