SportBox Entertainment Group – who represents PGA Tour stars like Graham DeLaet and Mike Weir - is bringing a golf festival to Halifax, Nova Scotia.
GOLFest Nova Scotia was officially announced at a press conference in Halifax on Tuesday morning with PGA Tour officials in attendance.
It will be the crown jewel in a week that will celebrate Canadian golf says Danny Fritz, the head of SportBox Entertainment Group, who is expanding its business by including an “events” division with the announcement of the festival.
The festival will kick off on June 29 and go all the way to July 6 and will feature three major events.
On June 29, the Junior Canada Cup will take place in partnership with the Canadian Junior Golf Association. It will feature junior golfers from Eastern Canada taking on their counterparts from Western Canada in Ryder Cup-style matches.
Next will be the Canada Cup, an exhibition that will see DeLaet, Weir, David Hearn and the top Canadian on the Web.com Tour take on an international team of PGA Tour stars and one non-Canadian from the Web.com Tour.
“We’re targeting the top-20 in the world, and star power of guys that have done big things in their career. Either they’ve won majors or have some storylines because for us, it’s just as much about star power as it is about world-ranking points,” explains Fritz. “Our target is going to be some of the top personalities in golf.”
Finally, the Web.com Tour will make its lone stop on Canadian soil for 2014 – and for the first time in 10 years – at the Nova Scotia Open.
Three different levels of either government organizations or golf groups have come on as founding partners, along with Cobra/PUMA Golf.
Fritz says SportBox Group chose Halifax because of its proven track record for hosting large events.
“Halifax has infrastructure,” he says. “They’ve hosted some major golf events in the past; they’ve hosted the World Junior Hockey Championships. It was a natural fit. It was something that was going to drive tourism for the local region.”
One of the biggest challenges, says Fritz, was a government change that happened in the midst of planning the event.
“Essentially the government that we did the deal with in Nova Scotia is not the government that is in place right now. There was some work we had to do to make the current government feel that this was the right move for them.”
A three-year commitment is in place for the event.
It is a strong first step in SportBox’s advances in establishing itself as the go-to shop when it comes to golf in Canada, according to Fritz, and another step in confirming Nova Scotia as a fine golf destination.