The street housing the usual hosting country club has “run-down RVs, trailers, tents, makeshift housing structures and mounds of rubble and garbage.”
The LPGA moved the Portland Classic to a suburb for the first time in 50 years due to safety concerns in the city.
The event usually takes place at the Columbia Edgewater Country Club in Northeast Portland.
The city’s rise in homelessness, including people living near the parking lots of the country club, led to the decision:
“Their reason for departure center around the City of Portland’s response to safety and security around the city. With LPGA players, Media, Sponsors, and thousands of spectators coming into town this fall, the tournament organizers had concerns about the safety of the city and opted to find a venue out of the city limits,” Ken Smith said in the letter. “At this point, we are unsure about future years of the tournament and where it will be conducted. But we will keep you informed of any updates as we learn more in the coming months.”
The tournament is now scheduled to be at the Oregon Golf Club Sept. 16 through Sept. 19.
“We’re pleased that the decision was made to keep the tournament in the greater Portland metropolitan area and look forward to its continuation in September 2021,” Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office said in a statement. “We understand the tournament organizer’s concerns and we’re working to address those.”
Oregon Live reported the street housing the country club has “run-down RVs, trailers, tents, makeshift housing structures and mounds of rubble and garbage.”
Tom Maletis, president of the Tournament Golf Foundation, said those issues present health and safety concerns:
“Around the adjacent area of Columbia Edgewater, that area there’s been a rise in houselessness. There’s been a lot of safety issues, health issues that we had with that area being so close to the course,” he said.
He noted that not far from their main entrance on NE 33rd is a stretch between Marine Drive and Columbia Boulevard that he said “has been one of the worst in Portland. We’ve been really concerned about it because within a few hundred feet of the encampments area and a lot of the people is where 95% of our spectators, players, staff and everyone come into the Columbia Edgewater facility.”
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