Officials of the 2022 U.S. Senior Open figured that the most practical way to approach the attendance numbers they had at Saucon Valley Country Club for the 1992 and 2000 championships would be to find something that would really catch the attention of the ticket-buying public.
So they entered the wayback machine and set the dial to 2000, restoring the price for one of the most popular ticket options at that year’s Senior Open for the 2022 event.
When early-bird tickets go on sale June 15, the price of a weekly ticket to the 19th Hole, an outdoor festival-like setting adjacent to the three finishing holes on Saucon Valley’s Old Course, will go for $225, the same price for a ticket to a similar select hospitality package from 2000.
“This is a market that’s frugal. No question about it,” Senior Open executive director Mimi Griffin said recently. “They’ll pay for value, but in order to entice them to take a jump into the water, you’ve got to give them something that is eye-opening. And to us, a 22-year-old price is pretty eye-opening.”
A total of 1,000 weekly 19th Hole tickets will be available at the early-bird price through July 31. After that, the price will rise to $275 with a maximum of 3,000 tickets for sale.
In addition, a weekly gallery ticket priced at $135 — just $5 more than the cost of the same ticket at the 2009 U.S. Women’s Open at Saucon Valley — will be available through July 31. That price rises to $165 on Aug. 1.
Griffin said the U.S. Golf Association had to sign off on her ticket price proposal.
“We just kind of held our breath and kept our fingers crossed,” she said. “But they were great. I thought they might come back and really slice up some of what we were asking for, and they really didn’t because I think they respect the fact that we’ve done this here before. We know this market, and we know what will sell.”
The three previous majors at Saucon Valley have drawn from an extended market, from Philadelphia to Scranton to Harrisburg to New Jersey. The 1992 and 2000 Senior Opens drew in excess of 120,000 spectators for the week while the 2009 Women’s Open brought in more than 100,000. Griffin said attendance for 2022 championship week, June 21-26, will be capped at 25,000 per day.
Another purchase option, for $300, is a “flex book,” which contains 10 gallery ticket coupons for those who want to attend but cannot commit to a date too far in advance. Four of the coupons are good for Tuesday and Wednesday practice days, and the remaining six may be used for the championship rounds Thursday through Sunday.
More information on the 2022 U.S. Senior Open can be found at www.ussenioropen.com/2022.