Over the past year Portland, Oregon has continued to spiral out of control with ongoing riots and a climbing number of homeless encampments. The issues plaguing the city have caused the LPGA Cambia Portland Classic to move its 2021 tournament out of the city amid safety concerns. The golf tournament used to be a great economic driver for nearby businesses but as one of the city’s largest homeless camps has taken over the land nearby the tournament organizers felt they had no choice but to move.
The Daily Wire reports:
“It was a really tough decision,” said Tom Maletis, president of the Tournament Golf Foundation. “We are frustrated and disappointed about the move. But it’s just something that we feel is best for the tournament and everyone involved.” The Tournament Golf Foundation is the Portland-based nonprofit organization that runs the event.
The event was scheduled to take place at Columbia Edgewater Country Club, a private golf club located on the edge of the Columbia River in Portland, Oregon. According to The Oregonian, the area around the golf course has become overwhelmed by one of the city’s largest homeless encampments.
The encampment is located close to the entrance to the private golf club, surrounding a nearby parking lot where attendees, players, and media would park their vehicles for the tournament.
The Oregonian states, “Both sides of 33rd (a nearby road) are dotted with run-down RVs, trailers, tents, makeshift housing structures, and mounds of rubble and garbage. As Portland’s homeless crisis has spiraled further out of control during the coronavirus pandemic, the stretch of road has quietly grown into one of the city’s largest encampments, transforming a tree-lined stretch with large bike lanes into an eyesore, fire hazard and — Portland Classic organizers say — a safety hazard.”
This is;t the first major event to pull away from Portland over its declining image and rise in crime. The NCAA denied the city’s bid to host the Women’s Final Four in October 2020 and the city has run into issues with the MLB over requests to bring a franchise to the city because of the overwhelming spike in violence.