The Memorial Tournament has released fan protocols for next month’s event, offering specifics on procedures for the first PGA Tour event with spectators since the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Dublin, Ohio, tournament was originally slated for last week, but was pushed to July 16-19 as part of the Tour’s reshuffled schedule in the wake of coronavirus. Last week Ohio governor Mike DeWine approved the tournament’s request to allow fans on-site in a limited capacity, and while Muirfield Village is also hosting another PGA Tour event the week prior, it’ll be the Memorial that marks the first return of fans to a U.S. professional sports league in more than four months.
Limited tournament badges have already sold out, and any individuals planning to attend will be asked to do a temperature check prior to arrival and consult a six-point questionnaire provided by the CDC. The same combination of temperature check and questionnaire will then be administered to every fan upon arrival at the course. Anyone who answers yes to a questionnaire question or registers two temperature readings over 100 degrees will be asked to leave.
Once on property, all fans will be required to wear a non-surgical mask except for those with recognized exemptions. Those who did not bring a mask with them to the course will be provided one upon arrival.
In an effort to help enforce social distancing measures, each hole will include a one-way “corridor” to guide the flow of foot traffic. There won’t be any bleachers or grandstands, with fans instead guided to standing or sitting “corrals” for viewing. Those areas will be monitored with a pre-determined maximum number of attendees allowed.
“We very much look forward to the return of spectators on a limited basis at the Memorial Tournament,” said Andy Pazder, the Tour’s chief tournaments and competitions officer. “Beyond that week’s event, we will continue to work with host organizations, local and state government agencies and leading medical experts on parallel plans that include spectators, a limited number of spectators and without spectators.”
Hand sanitizer stations will be set up throughout Muirfield Village, and all concessions and retail purchase will be cash-less. The tournament will not provide any public shuttle transport, instead allowing guests to park amid 100 acres of parking space and walk to the course.
The various procedures will only apply to a select amount of fans. The tournament plans to limit attendance to 20 percent of its typical capacity, including “private venues” and essential personnel, which an earlier Columbus Dispatch report estimated around 8,000 spectators per day.