Posted on August 1, 2014 at 9:49 PM
Friday, Aug 1 at 11:49 PM
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11)-- According to Google Maps it is almost 20 miles from Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium to Valhalla Golf Club and add in additional time with traffic.
Yes, exactly: without traffic in Louisville. That is where fans will have to park for this year’s PGA Championship and then be shuttled over to Valhalla and back. It sounds like a long way, and it is.
So, today WHAS11 asked PGA Championship Director Brett Sterba what was the thought process that went into what looks like a crazy parking plan?
"Well I don't think it's so far away,” he said. “I think that when you have an event of this magnitude you have to be able to park 46 thousand people."
The parking lots around Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium do accommodate that. But why not do things the way they've been done before with parking lots around the golf course? Sterba gave one big reason: weather.
"Valhalla has a history of bad weather,” he said with a smile. “We weren't going to take the risk of putting together one plan and all of a sudden changing it if it rained. In the past we've had to tow cars, we've had to change parking lots here because of rain,” he said. “When you have an event of 250,000 people or 50,000 people coming a day for those championship rounds, you want to be able to transport people effectively and efficiently from the parking lot to the golf course."
The other big reason for shuttling fans to and from the stadium is for safety. The speed limit on
Shelbyville Road has even been reduced to 45 miles per hour for the week of the tournament.
"The plan is not going to work for everybody,” Sterba said. “We tried to do everything we could to accommodate as many people as we could. At the end of the day we felt that this was a safe, effective way to get people to and from the golf course."
Another safety concern the PGA and LMPD had to think about was what fans could bring into the tournament. You will notice one item on there that is not allowed: cameras. I asked Sterba how does that work when in this day and age, everyone has a camera on their cell phones.
"In 2008 you weren't allowed to bring a cell phone in,” he said. “We've embraced technology. We know that most people are married to their phones. We even have Wi-Fi areas set up around the golf course. We encourage you to bring your phone in. Three things we ask is that you turn it to silent or vibrate, there's no pictures during the Championship rounds Thursday through Sunday, and that you only use, only talk in phone approved areas."
You can access the list of things to not bring to Valhalla and the parking maps by clicking here
. Or you can visit the PGA's website that shows parking by clicking here