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Volume 24 No. 156

Events and Attractions

After the problems caused by heavy rains ahead of this week's U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club, it is "difficult to envision a scenario in which the charming little layout hosts" the tournament again, according to Frank Fitzpatrick of the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER. The U.S. Open's history is "filled with courses that have hosted the event -- often more than once -- and then disappeared from the unofficial rotation." While there often "appears to be little logic to the selection process, the USGA clearly has attempted to incorporate public courses and newer ones without much of a historic pedigree." Market size and population density also "seem to be significant factors in the 2000s." But the decision "isn't always the USGA's" to make, as U.S. Open courses occasionally "eliminate themselves from consideration." Some courses "desperately want in." Cherry Hills Country Club, Oak Hill Country Club and the Inverness Golf Club all have "undergone significant redesigns in recent years, presumably with landing another Open in mind" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 6/12).

BRIDGE TO SUCCESS: In Delaware, Jeff Wolfe writes the USGA realizes that the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s "cooperation was vital to the tournament’s success." When the USGA awarded the U.S. Open to Merion seven years ago, it "knew there would be a number of logistical challenges." One of those was "finding a way to get fans to and from the course in an orderly fashion." The "best way the USGA found it could happen would be to put a pedestrian bridge just behind Haverford College over SEPTA tracks that would lead to the golf club’s main entrance." The bridge will carry "thousands of spectators per day as it is where the main shuttles from Rose Tree Park and PPL Park will drop off and pick up fans the rest of the week" (DELAWARE COUNTY DAILY TIMES, 6/12).

Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles said that Indianapolis Motor Speedway's contract for the Red Bull Indianapolis GP runs through '14, but IMS "has a brief window after this year's event to opt out," according to Curt Cavin of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR. Miles added that he "doesn't blame MotoGP" for its inability to draw a large crowd to IMS for the Aug. 16-18 event, which is one of only three MotoGP events in the U.S. this season. He said, "Our mindset now is that we're going to go through 2014, but we're going to look at this year and evaluate it right after." Cavin noted Miles puts "significant onus on his team for being too focused on the Indianapolis 500 and IndyCar." Miles: "I'm trying to change the way we think about ticket sales and promotions. Rather than look at a fixed budget, we need our people to (present ideas). We'll make the money available" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 6/11). Meanwhile, Cavin wrote Miles "longed for more" activity at IMS surrounding last month's Indy 500. Miles said, "I think we were open for 17 days and there were a lot of them where this was a fun place to be. But we don't have nearly enough entertainment content for people." Miles sent an e-mail to "every employee asking for recommendations," and he expects "most responses to center on improving current elements, but his goal is to 'invigorate' May." He said, "We'll think about whether there's a role on the road course in May; that's a question to be answered. Maybe there's other racing that can come here during the month" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 6/10).