ACC like never before: Officials have player safety at top of mind
STATELINE, Nev. — Celebrities are happy NBC Sports and American Century are holding the celebrity golf tournament under difficult times due to the coronavirus. And tournament officials have player safety at the top of their minds heading into the 31st annual event.
To keep players as healthy as possible, ACC officials are following CDC guidelines, city and state mandates and not allowing spectators which will limit celebrity exposure to COVID-19.
“We’ve worked extensively over the past couple months,” said Gary Quinn of NBC sports, “We want to reduce the footprint on the golf course from a population standpoint.”
Precautions will be taken that are much different from previous years. The ACC will be seen like never before..
Some players will arrive at the Lake Tahoe Airport, but Quinn said that most of the players will be traveling commercially and fly into the Reno Tahoe International Airport.
A “Welcome Center” has been set up at the airport in Reno. After walking through the center, players will be escorted to separate vehicles and transported to Stateline, Nev., on Lake Tahoe’s South Shore.
Unlike previous years, players will not be sharing rides from the airport or to, and from, the event.
Upon arrival to Stateline, players will be taken to the second floor of Harrah’s Lake Tahoe for a temperature check. Each player will be given a personal protective equipment package.
Players will also answer prompted questionnaires using Medcor screening mobile app.
Each day before players head out on the field, temperatures will be taken.
While players are on the course, social distancing will be in full effect.
“We are doing everything we can to enforce social distancing,” Quinn said and added that family members of the players have been asked to not attend.
Quinn said the amount of people that will be on the golf course over the five days will be substantially decreased. While they usually have about 62,000 people on the course over the five days, which includes golfers, law enforcement, volunteers and resort employees, this year there will be a total of 250.
Quinn said that the volunteer base will also be significantly decreased as another measure to help minimize risk. While in previous years the tournament had over 400 volunteers, this year there will only be 90. The volunteers will primarily be doing score standards.
Douglas County Sheriff’s Office is preparing to make sure only the people allowed on the course will be there.
“We are preparing to keep people from sneaking in by patrolling the interior and exterior fence line of Edgewood,” said Douglas County Undersheriff Ron Elges. “There will be an identifier worn by everyone that is allowed to be inside the fence line of Edgewood. If someone is caught inside without the proper credentials they can, or will, be arrested for trespassing.”
While DCSO has limited some deputy positions since they won’t need to worry about inside crowd control, they have increased deputies on the beach area at Hole No. 17 to make sure spectators stay on the lake.
Quinn said that the players really wanted to find a way to continue with the tournament this year.
“The players’ safety is our top priority,” Quinn said. “NBC and Comcast have put a good plan in place.”
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