Truth & Rumors: PGA expects massive crowds, lines to continue at Ryder Cup
If the 12 hours of blanket TV coverage depicting throngs of fans 10-deep didn't tip it, there's something you should know: People like the Ryder Cup. A lot.
In fact, the PGA of America, which throws the party, has said it expects 240,000 people over the course of the Cup's six days and warned vendors to expect as many as 60,000 people on the course each day, according to Michael Smith of SportsBusiness Journal.
Those big crowds mean big business: Smith reports that the PGA has sold an estimated $50 million in "chalets, clubhouse rooms, individual hospitality clubs, viewing suites and corporate tables" alone.
All that, apparently, means a ravenous appetite for souvenirs.
That will translate into huge merchandise numbers for Cutter & Buck, which manages the 45,000-square-foot Ryder Cup shop next to the 18th hole. Traffic through the merchandise tent was overwhelming as early as Wednesday, when the fire marshal halted the flow of people into the tent for about 15 minutes. Even with 50 checkout registers going, the line to pay went almost the length of the tent. More than 100 fans stood outside waiting to get in and only when buyers exited were more people allowed to enter.
Hmm. Maybe those lines kept M.J. away from the merch tent. That would explain why he showed up in the same clothes he was wearing in 1992. (Check out the first picture of Mike in this wonderful, revealing Tumblr, WTFIsMikeWearing.)