Haverford residents concerned about the cost of hosting the U.S. Open Championship can rest easy: the U.S. Golf Association will pick up the tab for tournament personnel and grounds-keeping expenses.
Unlike a round of golf at Ardmore’s Merion Golf Club, taxpayers in Haverford Township won’t pay a dime to hold the event.
“The taxpayers are getting reimbursed for every cent,” said Haverford Township Board President Mario Oliva. “From the beginning, the USGA said they were going to reimburse us for everything.”
The USGA has already put up some $50,000 for field renovations and parking venues.
Haverford Township, home to golfing grounds, has incurred no expense for the permit fees to construct event tents and other structures, said Oliva.
The USGA is also covering all personnel costs at a time-and-a-half rate, and will pay the township an additional $5 per hour for any town or contracted employee working the event.
Golfers don’t tee off for the first round of play until Thursday, though practice rounds have begun, in between bouts of rain.
Oliva said reimbursements are helping the tournament to run smoothly, since the township must pay additional and off-hours security personnel.
“I’m just really happy with the performance of our police department, and it’s not just our police department,” said Oliva. “There’s 370 officers here from neighboring communities 24 hours a day, and we have 10 bomb-sniffing dogs here 24 hours a day.”
With over 20,000 spectators cued up to visit the area each day, officials are hopeful that local businesses from restaurants to retail will reap a sizeable profit this weekend.
The township also stands to benefit from positive publicity following four days on national television.
Tournament play will culminate in the championship round this Sunday, June 16.