IRVING — While the opening ceremonies were taking place for the 2013 HP Byron Nelson Championship in Irving, Salesmanship Club officials were making plans to move the tournament to another site.
"We signed last night a facilities agreement with the PGA tour and the Trinity Forest Golf Complex, and that is the next step in the process," said Robert Smith of the Salesmanship Club.
That agreement, according to Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, had to take place before the City of Dallas could make its move.
"Well it means that the foundation is in place that we as a City Council can take action and give the city manager authorization to start on this project," Rawlings said. "We need to get dirt moving, we need to get some infrastructure put in there, but we needed that to happen first."
The Dallas City Council is scheduled to vote on the project on Wednesday.
The site of the proposed Trinity Forest Golf Complex is located just five miles southeast of downtown Dallas. So how close is it to being a done deal?
"Well, we still have a lot of work to do," Rawlings said. "The operating committee has to raise the money through memberships."
Those memberships need to generate $20 million.
Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne had agreed to talk to us on camera about the proposed move of the tournament, but later changed her mind.
Off-camera, she said this: "The Byron Nelson has always been bigger than our city. We'll support it regardless of where it is."
The Salesmanship Club has already secured AT&T as its new sponsor starting in 2015. Its contract with the Four Seasons resort in Irving runs out in 2018, so the early target date for a potential move right now is no later than 2019.
"2019 is a long time away, so — as you can imagine — the City of Dallas and all these parties, it takes a long time of planning, but the process is continuing," Smith said.
"We want to move quickly, but we want to make sure it's right here for the next few decades," Mayor Rawlings said.