The Saudi-backed LIV Golf Tour has just eight events around the world in its first season, with one of its stops in the small town of Bolton, Massachusetts.
Fencing could be seen going up around The International, a private country club, on Tuesday.
“A massive global event in a very small town,” said Bolton City Administrator Don Lowe.
The International are hosting the event as Bolton prepare to be at the center of one of the biggest sporting stories of the year.
“I certainly understand the concerns of some people who might prefer it not to be here,” Lowe said.
The LIV tour has been criticized for being supported by the Saudi government.
“The Saudi government is trying to raise its profile by associating itself with sport, something that people love, in order to distract, distract from things like its human rights record,” he said. said Paul Musgrave, professor of political science. science at UMass Amherst.
The city has taken no position on the event, but is focusing on safety given that protests have taken place at other LIV events.
LIV has made no donations to the city, but pays the standard fee for details and police permits.
“The city doesn’t make any money on this,” Lowe said. “And I would like to make that very clear because there have been discussions on social media about it.”
“I’m really excited,” said Bruce Slater, owner of Slater’s Wood-Fired Pizza in town.
Slater says the thousands of people flocking to town should be a big boost for business.
“I think it will be more pizza,” Slater said. “I think everyone is going to thrive.”
Bolton resident Joe Myerson says The International helps legitimize the Saudi regime.
“Saudi Arabia is a very dangerous and dirty place, when it comes to human rights,” Myerson said. “I don’t like seeing him here in Bolton.”
The club and LIV management declined to answer any questions on camera or about the controversy.
“We are thrilled to bring high-profile golf to our region,” The International said in a statement. “We’ve been tracking fan experiences at each of LIV Golf’s previous tournaments and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.”
The tour rolls into town on Labor Day weekend.