Local economy suffers as no fans allowed at U.S. Open in Mamaroneck
The U.S. Open begins this week at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck but, unfortunately for golf fans and business owners, it's much different than the last time the tournament came to town.
Practice rounds begin today at Winged Foot and if it wasn't for the pandemic, the village and town would be absolutely bustling with activity.
The last time the U.S. Open was here was in 2006, and the area was packed with fans. This year's championship, the 120th U.S. Open, was originally scheduled for mid-June and was expected to bring in about 40,000 spectators per day.
But due to the pandemic, the U.S. Golf Association opted to postpone its biggest tournament until now. Then, the USGA, along with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, made the decision in July that fans would not be allowed in.
That's a big blow to Mamaroneck as well as Westchester. Millions of golf fans were expected to travel to the Hudson Valley to watch the tournament, stay in hotels, shop and eat at the restaurants, not to mention all the people who would be here working the Open.
Instead, volunteers at this year's US Open will be capped at 450 and will consist of Winged Foot Golf Club members only. Restrictions have also been put into place for golfers, caddies, family members and press at the venue.
There will be about 2,000 people per day for the Open between players and personnel. While that is still a lot of people who will hopefully spend money in the area, it isn’t up to par when you compare that to what the U.S. Open brings under normal circumstances.