U.S. Open Train Arrival Option Ruled A No-Go

Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times reports that yet another element of the experience expected at Chambers Bay for the 2015 U.S. Open (clubhouse, ampitheater, dock) has been ruled out.

This time it was the USGA not feeling secure enough about a planned rail line drop off at the course that was hoped to handle 6,000 spectators a day. Instead, all will make a 17-mile shuttle bus drive.

“We couldn’t ensure a great spectator experience based on the limited amount of people we could get on the trains,’’ said Danny Sink, USGA’s on-site championship director for the tournament, scheduled for June 15-21 at Chambers Bay Golf Course in Pierce County.

Instead, the USGA will continue with its existing plan to have 11,000 parking spaces available at its main locations in Puyallup and Lakewood, Sink said. Golf fans will then be shuttled up to 17 miles by bus to the University Place course.

The inability to get a grasp on costs was a major concern for one of golf’s four major tournaments in the world.

“This is a tournament for profit,’’ Sound Transit board member Pete von Reichbauer said. “It’s not nonprofit. They want more knowns than unknowns.’’

Sink said Sound Transit “bent over backwards for us’’ and did all they could to make the plan work during 16 months of discussions.