In case you’ve somehow missed all of the hoopla associated with the big event coming to Louisville- the Ryder Cup will be in town… next week! Organizers expect over 200,000 spectators for the event, and most of those will be traveling in from out of town. Here’s your guide to getting the most out of Louisville’s historic hosting experience.
TICKETS: They aren’t entirely out of reach…Unless you already have some in hand or know somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody, tickets are hard to come by. The random draw, held earlier in the year, allotted a great number of tickets, leaving the rest of us to sit back and watch. But, fear not, Ryder Cup fans- you can still have a chance to go. Many ticket brokers still have tickets available for both the practice round, and actual tournament play. You’ll pay more, but with this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, isn’t it worth it? Also, be sure to check Louisville’s Craigslist for those people who may be looking to unleash a ticket or two without the hassle of a 3rd party.
Suggestions: www.derbybox.com or http://louisville.craigslist.org/tix/
HOTELS: Good luck! Of the approximately 18,000 hotel rooms in the metro area, available rooms were estimated at less than a hundred just a week ago. People coming into town may have luck finding a home to rent for those days, but it’s going to cost you!
Suggestions: http://simplylouisville.com/ or http://louisville.craigslist.org/sub/
DINING: With thousands of extra people in town, eating at your favorite restaurant might be difficult next week and weekend. Reservations will be next to impossible to come by, so be sure to make plans in advance to avoid any potential problems. Try a week of cooking at home, get a few end-of-summer uses out of your outdoor grill, or try carry-out for dinner.
TRAFFIC: Of course roads near and around Valhalla will be closed, or restricted to residents only. Vehicles will not be able to stop near the golf course on Shelbyville Road, so if you’re planning on traveling to Valhalla, make sure you have plans because you will not be able to simply drive up and park. Drop-offs or pick-ups will not be allowed during the tournament. Shuttle services will be available from the Kentucky Convention Center downtown and the Expo Center at the fairgrounds. Officials expect around 400 buses in and out of Valhalla in the mornings and afternoons each day, carrying approximately 23,000 people every day of the tournament.
The shuttle schedule is as follows: Tuesday, September 16th: 6:45 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 17th: 6:45 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. Thursday, September 18th: 6:45 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. Friday, September 19th: 6:45 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. Saturday, September 20th: 6:45 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. Sunday, September 21st: 6:45 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
BEST BET: If you’re not planning on heading out to the tournament and would rather enjoy the Ryder Cup from a distance, you’re not alone. The Commonwealth of Kentucky and Metro Louisville are sponsoring an “off-site” party for the rest of us to enjoy. There will be concerts, entertainment and celebrations  for the event, all held away from the golf course. To check out all of the plans and details, visit: http://www.thecupexperience.com/ Or, if you’d like to simply enjoy the Ryder Cup from your own living room and on your very own HDTV, who could blame you? Along with local news coverage and specials, here’s your national TV schedule:
Thursday, September 18th: Opening Ceremonies ESPN 3:00 PM-5:00 PM Friday, September 19th: Day One ESPN 8:00 AM-6:00 PM Saturday, September 20: Day Two NBC 8:00 AM- 6:00 PM Sunday September 21: Day Three NBC 12:00 PM-6:00 PM Closing Ceremonies ESPN 6:00 PM-6:30 PM
City residents will find additional traffic in and around the metro area as we accommodate all of the extra visitors to Louisville. Restaurants will be busier, wait times longer and patience levels will surely be lowered. But, remember it is temporary, it positively benefits our economy in an enormous way, and we want to show everyone who visits our great city why we think it’s such a special one!