The Ryder Cup organisers are hopeful of hosting 40 000 fans each day at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin in September.
That is of course if all goes according to plan in staging a successful event in light of the Covid-19 challenges.
The 2020 edition of the highly-anticipated Ryder Cup was pushed back to 24-26 September of this year after rescheduling became the only outcome.
Attendance of spectators, though, remains the key ingredient of what makes a Ryder Cup special and worthwhile. That’s why the whole golfing world will be holding its breathe in hope of seeing passionate and vocal galleries at Whistling Straits later this year.
‘The original plan is what we’re with right now (with) 40,000 to 45,000 spectators on site per day,’ said Michael O’Reilly, director of golf operations at Destination Kohler, who are in charge of spectator hospitality for the event.
‘Right now, that’s what we’re planning for. Obviously, the PGA of America and Kohler Company, we’re going to adhere to state and local guidelines and recommendations. There’s a lot of golf tournaments to be played between now and late September, including the PGA Championship, which is in May down at Kiawah.
‘We have the opportunity to learn a lot along the way, and as things change and evolve, for us to pivot. But as of right now, that’s what we’re hoping for, full attendance and full corporate hospitality.’
The health and safety procedures will have to be in place, though, and was the major factor, which led to postponement of the event.
‘Unlike other major sporting events that are played in existing stadiums, we had to make a decision now about building facilities to host the 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits,’ PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh said last year.
‘It became clear that as of today, our medical experts and the public authorities in Wisconsin could not give us certainty that conducting an event responsibly with thousands of spectators in September would be possible.’