OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The Pinnacle Bank Championship announced earlier this week it will be playing without spectators next month. One Wednesday, 3 News Now learned more about how the tournament will run.
“Safety is our top concern so we’re using our time and energy to make sure it can be a safe event for the community,” said Jessica Brabec, the Pinnacle Bank Championship Tournament Director.
She said the tournament is putting in strong safety measures including having people tested on site.
“We’re taking strong safety measures working with the tour, people will be tested on site and they will go through screenings every day someone is on site,” Brabec said. “Players will be tested the first day they arrive on site. They will have to pass the actual COVID test and will be screened with verbal screening and a thermometer check.”
One of the changes for the athletes is instead of staying in houses, the golfers will now be required to stay in one of the official tournament hotels.
“Players are only allowed to go there and go home,” Brabec said. “They have strict stay at home orders. They are not allowed to go to a restaurant.”
Another major change will be the tournament’s aesthetics. The tournament isn’t building grand stands and club seats for fans. Instead, the Club at Indian Creek will have the same look that it does during normal golfing hours.
“You walk out on 17 and 18 and you see a first-class presentation so we will miss that for sure,” said Jim Nedrow, the Director of Agronomy at the Club at Indian Creek.
He said even without spectators, the course will be pro-ready.
“From the second the last putt drops the year before we’re in preparation mode,” Nedrow said. “We’re in full speed ahead.”
Brabec didn’t disclose whether the tournament is planning to lose money without fans in attendance. She said the tournament is a non-profit event.
“We still have support from our local community partners,” she said. “We have some that are partnering this year and others are waiting until next year.”
Brabec added that even if Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts were to loosen restrictions in the state to levels where spectators could come freely, the Pinnacle Bank Championship wouldn’t change its plans to not allow spectators to this year’s tournament.
The 2020 Pinnacle Bank Championship will take place from July 27 to August 2 at the Club at Indian Creek in Elkhorn.