Presidents Cup Opening Ceremony features international festival, Rascal Flatts concert

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July 24, 2013
By PGA TOUR staff

DUBLIN, Ohio -- For the first time in event history and as part of the 10th staging of The Presidents Cup, tournament officials are excited to announce plans for an off-site, open-to-the-public Opening Ceremony, featuring an international festival and concert by Grammy Award-winning group Rascal Flatts.  The celebration will be held at the Columbus Commons in Columbus, Ohio, located downtown at 160 South High Street, on Wednesday, October 2, with an international food and entertainment festival from 5-7:30 p.m.; Opening Ceremony from 7:30-8:30 p.m.; and a concert by Rascal Flatts (two of three members hail from Columbus), followed by fireworks, from 8:30-9:30 p.m.

Beginning August 1, a total of 5,000 General Admission tickets to Opening Ceremony – inclusive of all the above activities – are available via www.presidentscup.com and at all Columbus-area Kroger grocery stores for $30 (plus applicable taxes and fees), with a portion of the proceeds benefitting Columbus-based Nationwide Children’s Hospital (existing Presidents Cup ticket buyers will be offered an exclusive pre-sale opportunity between July 24 and August 1).  Ranked in all 10 specialties on U.S. News & World Report’s 2013-14 “America’s Best Children’s Hospitals” list, Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit freestanding pediatric healthcare networks providing wellness, preventive, diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitative care for infants, children and adolescents, as well as adult patients with congenital disease.  Nationwide Children’s remains true to the original mission since its founding in 1892 of providing care regardless of a family’s ability to pay.

The Presidents Cup, a premier, international, team match-play competition featuring 24 of the world’s top golfers, returns to the United States, October 1-6, at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio.

“We are thrilled with the full slate of entertainment and activities for Opening Ceremony,” said Dan Sullivan, The Presidents Cup tournament director.  “This is the perfect start to what will be an incredible week for Dublin and Columbus, as we gather the entire community together for an evening of fun, food and, of course, a concert by superstars Rascal Flatts. We’ve always said that The Presidents Cup is more than just a golf tournament, and that fact will be on display October 2 in the Columbus Commons as we celebrate the pageantry, international flavor and charitable impact of this great event.”

“We can’t wait to throw one heck of a party at the Opening Ceremony for The Presidents Cup,” said Gary LeVox of Rascal Flatts.  “What better way to kick off the tournament than with a fun–filled concert for all of our friends and family in Columbus to help generate funds for such a great and charitable cause.”

Columbus Commons is a seven-acre green space located in the heart of Downtown Columbus with a state-of-the-art performance space, Columbus Bicentennial Pavilion, world-class gardens and much more. The Presidents Cup Opening Ceremony, festival and concert are being produced by Columbus-based Mills James Creative Media, in conjunction with the PGA TOUR and in partnership with the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation & Capitol South and CAPA.

International Festival, 5-7:30 p.m.

Fans of all ages are invited to bring their chairs – and their appetites – to enjoy a variety of entertainment and food for purchase that represent the global nature of The Presidents Cup.  Lawn seating and limited, open-bleacher seating are available on the general lawn.  Three stages will showcase music and performances from locally based acts that specialize in authentic entertainment from countries such as Japan, Argentina, South Africa, Thailand, South Korea, Zimbabwe, Australia and the United States; a sampling of these acts include Mojo Kings, Powerhouse, Thiossane African Dance and Drums, Jacked Up, Hiuchi Taiko, The Bush Men and Buchaechum Dance. Fire performers, stilt walkers, aerialists, jugglers and magicians will roam the crowd, entertaining attendees with internationally themed performances.

A wide variety of international food options will be available for purchase, catered by Columbus-based Cameron Mitchell Restaurants and Cameron Mitchell Premier Events including six of their flagship restaurants: Marcella’s; Cap City Fine Diner & Bar; The Pearl; Mitchell’s Ocean Club; Cameron’s American Bistro; and Rusty Bucket; with additional concession tents that showcase food from nations expected to be represented in The Presidents Cup, such as South Africa, South Korea, Australia and Argentina.

Also as part of the festival, flags from each country represented by the teams’ players will be raised by members of The First Tee of Central Ohio as national anthems are performed.  Official Presidents Cup merchandise will be available for purchase throughout the festival grounds.

Opening Ceremony, 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Attendees will direct their attention to the Columbus Bicentennial Pavilion at 7:30 p.m. for the official Presidents Cup Opening Ceremony, which will be televised live on Golf Channel in the United States and throughout the world via PGA TOUR international television partners.  Emceed by Dan Hicks of NBC Sports, Opening Ceremony is the official introduction of the U.S. and International Team players, captains’ assistants and U.S. Team Captain Fred Couples and International Team Captain Nick Price. 

Opening Ceremony will include performances by The Ohio State University Marching Band, as well as Columbus’ own 200-voice Harmony Project Choir. Matching well with The Presidents Cup’s values of international goodwill and charitable outreach, Harmony Project is a non-profit arts and service organization that provides an opportunity for individuals of different racial backgrounds, religions, ages and political affiliations to perform and bond through the collective experience of community service.

Opening Ceremony will include speeches from World Golf Hall of Famer Jack Nicklaus, whose Muirfield Village Golf Club is hosting The Presidents Cup; PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem; and a video message from U.S. President Barack Obama, honorary chairman of The Presidents Cup 2013 (potential attendance to be confirmed).

Golf and sports dignitaries from around the world will be in attendance for Opening Ceremony, as will Ohio Governor John Kasich, mayors of Columbus and Dublin – Michael Coleman and Tim Lecklider, respectively – along with other regional leaders who have been instrumental in bringing The Presidents Cup to the area.  

Rascal Flatts Concert, 8:30-9:30 p.m.

Attendees will enjoy a brief fireworks display as the Columbus Bicentennial Pavilion is reset for a special performance by super group Rascal Flatts.

Rascal Flatts is the best-selling country vocal group of the past decade, and with the No. 1 debut of their album, CHANGED, they have the distinction of being one of only four acts to have seven consecutive studio albums debut in the top spot on the Billboard Country Albums chart during the Soundscan era. Since debuting in 2000, the band has sold more than 21 million albums, 25 million digital downloads and delivered 14 No. 1 singles to the top of the charts. Rascal Flatts is the most-awarded country group of the past decade, earning more than 40 trophies from the ACAs, ACMs, AMAs, CMAs, People’s Choice Awards and more. They are currently on their sold-out world tour titled “LIVE & LOUD.”

Following Rascal Flatts’ performance, a spectacular, 10-minute fireworks display will signal the conclusion of the evening’s activities.

The Presidents Cup, a team, match-play competition featuring 24 of the world’s top golfers – 12 from the United States and 12 from around the world, excluding Europe – is held every two years, and since 1996 has alternated between United States and international venues. The Presidents Cup was developed to give the world’s best non-European players an opportunity to compete in international team match-play competition. The U.S. Team has won seven of the nine previous Presidents Cups, and the only win by the International Team came at the 1998 event in Melbourne. The Presidents Cup 2003 ended in a tie. Couples is returning as U.S. Team captain in 2013, and fellow World Golf Hall of Fame member Price will lead the International Team.

The Presidents Cup is a unique golf event in that there is no purse or prize money.  Players are not paid for their participation, but each competitor allocates an equal portion of the funds generated to charities of his choice.  Since the event’s inception, more than $27 million has been raised for charity from event proceeds, as well as contributions made on behalf of The Presidents Cup, including a record charitable donation of $4.5 million from the 2011 event alone.

Citi and Rolex are the exclusive Global Partners of The Presidents Cup.

Weekly tickets for The Presidents Cup are on sale, available for $210 for grounds access only or $360 for Captains’ Club access.  Youth 12 and under are admitted free to The Presidents Cup (grounds access only) with a ticketed adult.  Tickets are available via www.presidentscup.com or by calling 888-401-8000. Tournament officials are expecting a sell out; currently, only 6,750 weekly tickets remain. For updates on The Presidents Cup, check www.presidentscup.com, join us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/thepresidentscup), Twitter (@PresidentsCup) and via The Presidents Cup e-newsletter.

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