Whether you’re going to next week’s PGA Championship or not, Charlotte city officials have a message for you: Plan ahead.
Officials estimate more than 200,000 patrons will attend Charlotte’s first major golf championship Aug.7-13 at Quail Hollow Club. And with the surge of extra people heading to the city, officials in emergency services, security, and transit operations want the event to flow as seamlessly as possible.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police say they’re expecting a smooth event, with officers from all divisions on site, along with state and federal law enforcement and medical services. CMPD Deputy Chief Coerte Voorhees suggested tournament-goers review the PGA bag policy at www.pgatour.com. Phones are allowed with some restrictions.
Officials expect traffic to increase in Charlotte next Thursday, the first day of tournament play, and they advised drivers all over the city to allot extra time for their commute. Joseph Yanicak, special events supervisor at Charlotte Department of Transportation, said Charlotte is used to major sporting events – but with an influx of press and additional people from out of town, preparation is key.
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“We’ve been doing the Wells Fargo (Championship) event for years and years, so we have a very good idea of what to expect,” Yanicak said. “But this just brings it up another level.”
Gleneagles Road – the main road along Quail Hollow – will be closed from 6 a.m. - 9 p.m. each day. Yanicak advised tournament-goers to use shuttles and mass transit to avoid parking troubles. You can take a shuttle from the public parking at Bojangles’ Coliseum, Carowinds and the Ballantyne Corporate Park on the weekend. You have to order a $15 pass at pgachampionship.com ahead of time for each day. The tournament will also be pedestrian and biker friendly, officials said.
Two employees from the Department of Transportation will be on site to help with any problems if they arise.
If you live in the Ballantyne area, trash pickup will be on your regular weekly day, but it should start earlier, at 4:30 a.m.
For more information about how the city is preparing, visit http://charlottenc.gov/PGA/Pages/default.aspx
Emmanuel Morgan: 704-358-5337, @_EmmanuelMorgan