Tickets for this year's U.S. Open were sold out almost as soon as they hit the open market, and snagging one of the few remaining tickets to get into Merion's historic gates next week won't come cheap. Even with the rainy forecast, a four-day pass for the tournament currently costs $1,250.00. (Only 16 left!) One day passes range from $238-$464.
Merion's compact course design will affect the players, but it's affecting the fans as well. The USGA has admitted to losing money at this year's Open due to Merion's inability to accomodate as large of crowds compared to previous years. Fewer tickets = higher prices.
Last year at the Open's 26th consecutive sell-out in San Francisco, attendance was limited to 33,500 per day and almost hit 250,000 total for the week. The daily attendance at Merion is capped at 25,000, which will lead to a considerable smaller turnout. Matt Mullin of Philly.com notes that Merion's location drives up demand even more.
"Now take into account Merion's proximity to Philadelphia, New York
and Washington, D.C., and it's easy to see how low supply and high
demand drove up the prices. The 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional, located
outside of Washington, D.C., drew over 176,000 fans (plus an additional 53,000 during the practice rounds)"
If you can't make it to suburban Philly next week, save some money and play Merion on your own time for free. (Photo: Al Tielemans/Sports Illustrated)