Between June 15th and 21st, the U.S. Open (the golf one, not the tennis one) took place at our very own Chambers Bay in University Place, Washington. Thanks to my employer, I had the unique opportunity to attend the Open as a member of the media. Tasked with uncovering local and behind-the-scenes stories, I did my best – along with the international army of reporters, photographers, bloggers, anchors, writers, producers, and others – to find interesting angles to the biggest sporting event the Pacific Northwest has ever seen.
The 2015 Super Bowl (the one in which the New England Patriots deflated the hopes of the Seattle Seahawks) had 70,288 people in attendance. By contrast, an estimated 235,000 people attended the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay…which, in essence, hosted nearly three-and-a-half Super Bowls worth of fans over a seven-day period. There were a lot of stories to be told, and the Pierce County Communications team rose to the challenge.
One of the things Pierce County (in which University Place is located) is blessed with is a government television station well-staffed with talented individuals. Pierce County Television – or PCTV, as it prefers to call itself – produced more than five continuous hours of U.S. Open-related content over the course of several years…more than any other U.S. Open host community in the event’s 120-year history. I was fortunate enough to be able to work with PCTV during much of that, and we put together some great little packages that you won’t see on Fox Sports.
For example, in this story we meet famous local golfers who have played in past U.S. Opens, hear stories from Ken Still and see priceless photos and historic footage. Plus we interview Michael Putnam, Andrew Putnam and Andres Gonzales:
The USGA reported their best opening-day merchandise sales…ever. In this video, people in the Pacific Northwest show what good shoppers they can be. Find out which colors the USGA couldn’t keep in stock and which items sold out first:
And in this video, fans do their best to guess which concession items are top sellers at the U.S. Open. From burgers and hot dogs, to beers and water, get all the numbers on what’s selling at the concession stand:
If you had the chance to attend the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, you already know how amazing the experience was…for fans, players and volunteers alike. I hope the USGA one day returns to Chambers Bay, a course built specifically to challenge champions, and I hope I get to be there again.
To see a huge gallery of photos and video from the event, please visit Pierce County’s U.S. Open website.