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Tulsa city councilors vote to waive $100,000 PGA security fee

A photo taken at the national golf tournament at the Southern Hills Country Club in May posted to Facebook by the PGA Championship on May 18, 2022.
Matt Hahn

Tulsa city councilors voted last week to waive $100,000 in security fees for the PGA of America after the national golf tournament at the Southern Hills Country Club back in May.

Councilors voted 6-2 last week in favor of the measure that waives part of the PGA's original security bill of $225,000.
Phil Lakin said 2022 PGA Championship has already paid for itself after the event brought around $2-3 million to Tulsa alone. Lakin also says the city's national coverage is almost priceless.

"You can't really put a price tag on the value of that — what people saw in Tulsa during all the b-roll and all the outtakes from just the PGA," Lakin said.

The Tulsa Regional Chamber found that the PGA of America's tournament brought nearly $158 million dollars to the state's economy from housing and restaurant sales.

City councilor Vanessa Hall-Harper said the million dollar organization can afford to pay the $100K, and that waivers should be saved for local events that really need the funds.

"I have a hard time supporting something like this," Hall-Harper said. "I just don't think it's a fair comparison to compare the PGA to our local entities and organizations in our community that have come to us and asked us for waivers to host things in our community. "

The city of Tulsa usually only waives security fees for community events like the MLK and Veteran's parades, and for the Fourth of July celebration.

Hall-Harper said she's concerned for other programs in Tulsa that could've used the money.

The $100,000 in security fees will be taken care of by the council's general fund, which comes from sales taxes paid by every Tulsan, according to city councilors.

Before making her way to Public Radio Tulsa, KWGS News Director Cassidy Mudd worked as an assignment editor and digital producer at a local news station. Her work has appeared on ABC, CBS, and NBC affiliates across the country.