Gov aides working to bring cup to LI
- Last Updated: 4:13 AM, August 20, 2012
- Posted: 2:32 AM, August 20, 2012
Top aides to Gov. Cuomo, already close to arranging a deal for a world-class soccer stadium in Queens, are hoping to bring the famous international Ryder Cup golf tournament to the Black Course at Bethpage State Park on Long Island in 2020.
Cuomo’s secretary, Lawrence Schwartz, recently met with Joe Steranka, the Professional Golfers’ Association’s chief executive officer, and other PGA officials to discuss the logistics of using the Black Course for the Ryder Cup, sources said.
Any improvements sought by the PGA in the already top-rated Black Course to make it more acceptable for the Ryder Cup are expected to be backed by state officials.
The cup, which generates tens of millions of dollars in advertising revenue and media coverage, pits the best US golfers against the best in Europe and is held every other year at alternating European and American locations. Yesterday’s Post first reported the possibility of it being held at the Black Course.
With the first round of the FedExCup playoffs, called The Barclays, about to get under way at the Black Course this week, state officials have been assured the PGA is “open’’ to holding the Ryder Cup there as well.
Should the Ryder Cup be held at the state park, it would be the first time the tournament would be held at publicly owned golf course since the intercontinental competition began in Worcester, Mass., in 1927, state officials said.
“We’ve already held two US Opens at the Black Course, and The Barclays is about to get under way, so the PGA knows us,’’ said a state official involved in the talks.
“They know the course, and they like the course, and we’re talking to them about bringing the Ryder Cup here as well,’’ the official said.
The Ryder Cup will be played in September at the Medinah County Club in Medinah, Ill. Despite Albany’s hopes, the PGA Web site says it’s committed to other courses through 2020. If that’s the case, the event couldn’t come to Long Island before 2024.
According to the PGA Web site, the tournament will be held at Hazelton National in Chaska, Minn., in 2016; and in 2020, it will be at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wis. It will be held in Europe in 2014 and 2018.
“These things take time, and commitments are made way in advance, but you have to get into it if you’re going to get it, and that’s what we’re doing now,’’ the official said.
The Post disclosed last week that Major League Soccer was close to signing a deal to build a $300 million, 25,000-seat stadium at Flushing Meadow Park in Queens that would become the home of a new MLS team.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver will make an endorsement in what’s expected to be the hotly contested Democratic primary for mayor next year, but he’s not anywhere close to doing it yet.
“I’m not leaning anywhere now because I still don’t know who the final candidate will be,’’ the speaker said.
Silver, meanwhile, is getting ready to help lead New York’s delegation early next month at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC, where he will serve as a delegation spokesman announcing the votes on behalf of the nomination of President Obama.
Silver, an Orthodox Jew and a strong supporter of Israel, said he’s not concerned with continuing claims that the president isn’t wholeheartedly behind the Jewish state.
“I think President Obama has pretty much gotten the message and understands that Israel is our best ally and that the security of Israel is important to the security of the United States,” he said.
“I think he’s aware that the leaders of Iran are terrorists at best.”