• Loading stock data...
Monday, July 15, 2024

Crowd Control: U.S. Open Taking a Less-Is-More Approach With Fans

  • About 225,000 fans are expected to attend the championship, less than previous years in Pinehurst.
  • There’s also a new, unique option for getting to the tournament.
FOS image

The U.S. Open is teeing off Thursday at Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina as organizers plan on welcoming an estimated 225,000 fans throughout the tournament week. That’s a lower total than the previous two U.S. Opens at the course, in 2014 and ’05, as the focus shifts from packing in as many people as possible to a more comfortable atmosphere for fans—at a higher price point.

In 2014, Pinehurst welcomed roughly 55,000 fans on peak days. This year, no more than 45,000 will be admitted daily, with the cheapest general admission tickets that start at $225 sold out for each round except the final on Sunday. More expensive options include a reserved grandstand (starting at $325) and luxury tickets that range from slightly under $1,000 all the way up to the $2,500 per day at 1895 Club, which is completely sold out.

All Aboard

The village of Pinehurst has a population of less than 20,000, so even the reduced spectator load this year still represents some logistical challenges. For fans coming from Raleigh, which is about 70 miles away, there’s a new transportation option. 

The United States Golf Association partnered with Amtrak to run a special train, dubbed the “Open Express,” daily from Raleigh to Pinehurst. Round-trip tickets start at $25 for the train that leaves in the morning, arrives to one of the U.S. Open spectator gates, and returns in the evening. Parked next to the driving range all day, the train provides some fun views for fans watching golfers practice.

Ownership Perks

While the USGA is using nearly every inch of space and permanent infrastructure around the course to build out corporate hospitality that has resulted in more than $23 million worth of sales, the owners of Pinehurst Resort saved some prime real estate for themselves. 

The Dedman family, which has owned the property since 1984, is keeping The Deuce restaurant right behind the 18th green for special guests. About 50 to 100 lucky attendees will be entertained each day at the coveted spot that is typically a watering hole for tired golfers searching for post-round libations.

Linkedin
Whatsapp
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

As Another Men’s Golf Major Season Wraps, Still No PGA Tour-LIV Deal

The Open Championship begins Thursday at Royal Troon.
Jun 9, 2024; Lexington, KY, USA; Oregon State Beavers infielder Travis Bazzana (37) throws the ball during the second inning against the Kentucky Wildcats at Kentucky Proud Park.

MLB’s Continued Push to Make Young Stars, and the Draft, Matter

Several league initiatives have led to greater fan familiarity with top prospects.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Formula E is Powering Its Own Future

0:00

Featured Today

Jan 7, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley (0) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans during the first half at Nissan Stadium.

Without Hard-Line Bans, Pro Athletes and Personnel Will Keep Betting on Sports

Penalties often aren’t stringent or consistent enough to deter banned behavior.
Oct 2, 2021; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goddell speaks during the Don Shula Celebration of Life at Hard Rock Stadium.
July 13, 2024

The NFL Is Confident It Can Overturn the Sunday Ticket Verdict

The league may have good reason to believe it can win.
July 8, 2024

NFLPA Report Cards Have Become the ‘Talk of the Locker Room’ Across..

NFLPA report cards have become the ‘talk of the locker room.’
July 7, 2024

The New College Sports Insiders Are Graphic Designers

Joe Tipton and Hayes Fawcett have become premier news-breakers on social media.
Apr 25, 2024; Detroit, MI, USA; NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell addresses the crowd during the 2024 NFL Draft at Campus Martius Park and Hart Plaza.

NFL Will Dip Its Toes in Private Equity by Year’s End

The league is likely to cap PE involvement in teams at 10%.
July 10, 2024

Pac-12 Media Days Evolve Into a Cocktail Party at the Bellagio

The two-team ‘zombie conference’ is still hosting a football media day.
July 10, 2024

Las Vegas Isn’t Becoming an NBA Destination. It Already Is One

Expansion and the in-season tournament are also drawing the NBA to the city.
Sponsored

TopSpin 2K25 Brings the Legends of Tennis to Your Living Room

2K sports is reviving a classic with TopSpin 2K25.
Stadium with NFL logo at the mid-field line
July 10, 2024

‘Nonsensical’: NFL Blasts Massive Jury Award in Latest Sunday Ticket Case Filings

The league asked for a new trial and called the damages ‘indefensible.’
July 9, 2024

With Tiger Focused on PIF, U.S. Turns to Netflix Star to Lead Ryder Cup

Keegan Bradley will captain Team USA in 2025.
July 9, 2024

Big 12’s New Era Kicks Off: Expansion, Private Equity, and Global Ambitions

The new 16-team conference is holding media days in Las Vegas.
July 8, 2024

A Rookie Sensation Is Shaking Up MLB’s Approach to Young Talent

Skenes is the first MLB player to go No. 1 in the draft and become an All-Star the next year.