WILMINGTON – Similar to how the National Football League puts together a fan friendly experience ahead of the big game within the host city each year, Wilmington Downtown Incorporated (WDI) is looking to put on a show for its guests coming for the Wells Fargo Championship.
A putting green, scavenger hunt, free golf-themed movie and concerts headlined by local and regional musicians are all planned by WDI to enliven the region’s largest shopping, dining and entertainment center during the PGA Tour event, scheduled May 1-7 at Eagle Point Golf Club in Porters Neck.
“This is an unprecedented opportunity to showcase Wilmington, New Hanover County, and all of southeastern North Carolina to the nation and the world,” said WDI Chairman Colin Tarrant. “As the non-profit leader for promoting the economic growth and development of Downtown, WDI has curated a slate of family-friendly activities that will showcase and highlight all that our beautiful center city has to offer.”
As planning efforts intensified over the past few months, with city and county leaders and the Greater Wilmington Chamber putting together a marketing strategy to attract business to the area, WDI is doing its part to activate downtown for its guests.
With the One Tree Hill convention and UNCW’s graduation all scheduled for the same weekend as the golf tournament, WDI volunteers and staff brainstormed, looking for ideas that would appeal to a wide range of people while showcasing local entertainment, retail and food industries.
“Play a Round Downtown” will span throughout the central business district and include Riverfront Park, Castle Street, the Brooklyn Arts District and the Northern Waterfront area near PPD. Currently, WDI is looking for sponsors to help put on this one-of-a-kind showcase event.
“This is an amazing marketing sponsorship for a business or philanthropic group, as an additional 10,000 to 15,000 people a day will be coming downtown to shuttle to Eagle Point Golf Club,” said WDI President Ed Wolverton. “To reach this demographic and other area visitors, we are hoping to find a visionary leader who understands the national and international reach of this sponsorship opportunity and is also willing to bolster downtown as the epicenter of community life during this intensive week.”
A shuttle is already planned to move fans from the course each day. Nearby the downtown shuttle stop will be the “Happy Gilmore Putting Green.” The artificial turf putting green would feature several holes and be free to use.
Other catchy activities will also be named after well-known golf related films. They include the “Tin Cup Stroll”, which will lead visitors around the historic downtown area with a social media component.
Partnering with the local film industry, a free, walk up movie night will be held on Thursday, May 4 at Riverfront Park. Using the popular Downtown Sundown Concert Series WDI produces, “Caddy Shack Concerts” will be held on Friday and Saturday, May 5-6.
An estimated 25,000 fans are expected to attend the Wells Fargo Championship each day. Practice rounds get underway on Monday, May 1, with first-round action set for Thursday, May 4.