The first Kemper Open golf tournament at the Congressional Country Club probably will show a deficit of $50,000 to $100,000, tournament chairman Ben Brundred said last night.
The final-day crowd of 30,000 brought attendance for the week to 95,000, about 5,000 fewer than the 100,000 projected as necessary to meet the tournament's operating budget of $1.2 million, according to Brundred.
Despite the deficit, Setve Lesnik, president of Kemper Sports Management, was far from disappointed. "You can certainly describe the tournament as a success," he said, " . . . by almost everything from which we measure it.
"Attendance and revenues in Charlotte stagnated. You ask questions: Is it an artistic success? How did we do financially? Is is within reasonable bounds?I don't have any feeling about being stagnant here. There's nobody on our committee who doesn't believe next year will exceed this year's results in every way."
As sponsor, the Kemper group assumes any financial deficit. Congressional receives a guarantee -- $250,000 annually, according to informed sources -- and has no financial risk in the operation.
Lesnik will not discuss financial details. However, the bulk of the operating budget covers prize money ($400,000), Congressional's guarantee and $100,000 donation to charity.
It was learned that television rights from CBS, believed to be about $180,000, go directly to Kemper to help offset advertising costs and is not included as revenue in the operating budget.
Revenues come from ticket sales and percentages of consignments for parking and food concessions. The consignment income will not be figured until sometime this week, Bundred said. Congressional also keeps for itself the extra $4.50 per day per ticket for clubhouse admission.
"We don't have all the figures in," Brundred said. "We may fall a little short -- $50,000 to $100,000 -- and the reason why was Saturday, when that bloody rain came down."
Saturday's weather held attendance to 20,000, a figure revised up from 17,500 by Brundred yesterday.
"But we just couldn't be more pleased for the first one here," Brundred added. "We've got a great base to build on."
"It was very, very successful," said PGA Tour Commissioner Deane Beman. "It didn't look like a first-time around tournament. It was everything I thought it would be and it'll build from there.
Lesnik was especially pleased after the name of the nation's third largest insurance company had been echoing through the local media for a week and over national television for the weekend. And he was delighted with the coverage former President Gerald R. Ford generated in the pro-am.
Lesnik was not worrying about deficits. He mentioned that some Congressional veterans told him yesterday's crowd was bigger than the Sunday throng at the 1976 PGA Chamionship here.
He also pointed out that this field included four big names who did not compete in the 1979 Kemper in Charlotte -- Tom Watson, Hubie Green, Hale Irwin and Lee Trevino. He said he is sure that Jack Nicklaus, who by passed this tournament to attend his son's high school graduation, will play the 1981 Kemper.
Meanwhile, Congressonal's golf course will be closed today while 25 caddies sweep up the trash. "One of my hardest jobs is tomorrow," Brundred said, "getting everything out of here."
He also said he plans to fight hard to keep Congressional a par-70 layout and predicted that John Mahaffey's 72-hole record of 275, five under par, would last for a long time.
"I disagree with Andy Bean," he said. "People don't come out here to see them make birdies. They come out here to see them shoot double bogeys. People today are anti."
Congressional, not the PGA Tour, decides the course's par.