With the clock ticking toward the 3M Open in late July, tournament executive director Hollis Cavner said Tuesday there remains a chance it will suffer the same fate as the canceled John Deere Classic scheduled two weeks before it.
His company, which runs the 3M Open and other PGA Tour and Champions Tour events, is waiting word from state government to go forth with one of multiple proposals it submitted.
Those plans range from a limited number of spectators allowed — probably no more than 5,000 — to staging the tournament with a bare-bones crew of 1,300 people needed.
“Absolutely,” he said when asked if the tournament might not be played. “We have to go with what’s best for the state of Minnesota and for the safety of fans.”
He said a decision how — or if — the tournament will go must be made “very, very, very soon,” within the next week. Vendors must be notified and a decision made for how many, or few, tents and structures must be erected.
“We don’t have much time left at all,” Cavner said.
Cavner said tournament staff has been “super respectful to not bother the governor’s office and what they’re having to deal with right now.”
Players, caddies, staff, volunteers, TV crew — “anybody who walks on site,” Cavner said — will be tested for the coronavirus multiple times. Touch surfaces will be sanitized. If fans are allowed, shuttle buses will be needed. All are extra expenses for a tournament that could have no ticket sales or greatly reduced corporate revenue.
If fans or workers need protective face masks, though, the tournament has the right sponsor in mask-maker 3M.
“It will come down to what we’re able to do,” Cavner said. “They couldn’t pull it off at the John Deere, which was right before us. With everything they had to go through, they just canceled. That’s the last thing we want to do, I can assure you. Our group is ready to play.”
The 3M Open is scheduled to run July 23-26 at the TPC Twin Cities in Blaine.