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Dublin Businesses Hoping For Busy Week As Spectators Return To The Memorial Tournament

Troy Merritt, left, and Collin Morikawa putt on the second green during a practice round for the Memorial golf tournament, with no spectators, Wednesday, July 15, 2020, in Dublin, Ohio.
Darron Cummings
/
Associated Press
Troy Merritt, left, and Collin Morikawa putt on the second green during a practice round for the Memorial golf tournament, with no spectators, Wednesday, July 15, 2020, in Dublin, Ohio.

Tuesday morning, a dozen staffers at the Bogey Inn were busy dragging around tables and chairs, setting up cash registers, and making other last-minute preparations on the bar’s sprawling backyard.

Last year’s tournament went ahead without fans and Bogey’s General Manager Mark Dombek thinks that hiatus might prompt an even bigger turnout than usual.

“Friday and Saturday we’ll usually have anywhere between 4.000 to 6,000, sometimes 7,000 people in here at a time,” Dombek said. “I think this year’s—well, we hope—is going to be a little intensified just because it’s been weird this last 14 months. I just think that people are ready to go, ready for a big party.”

He doesn’t have to look far for an example of their expanded preparations.

“The whole tent in the parking lot—usually we use that for parking,” he explained. “Fridays and Saturdays between five and midnight, it’s hard to move, it’s that busy. So we’re hoping this creates some more space in case we do get a little bit more influx of people this year.”

Last month tournament organizers announced they’d sell weekly passes to people on their waitlist. Depending on the response, they expect they’ll see between 50 and 75 percent of their typical capacity.

Spectators who are fully vaccinated will able to move freely without a mask, but organizers want those who are not vaccinated to wear a mask indoors or when they can’t maintain distance. The memorial website says they’ll provide masks for those who don’t have them.

The tournament is also teaming up with OhioHealth to provide vaccinations on-site Friday through Sunday.

After a year marked by capacity restrictions, cancellations or delays for big events in the area, Dombek hopes the Memorial will provide a shot in the arm for local businesses.

“It’s a very big event to help inject some capital into the local economy for small businesses,” he says. “That’s a real big thing that was missed last year as well as other big events like the Arnold and the Irish Fest, but this is up there with them, and we’re sure looking forward to it this year.”