Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The U.S. Open was shockingly unprepared for large crowds to enter on Opening Day

It's only a two-week event each year, so it should come as no surprise when the U.S. Open has some kinks to work out on Day 1.  I'm also certain there are all kinds of variables in play here that I am unaware of.  However, the following are facts:

We arrived at 11:15 am Monday (the first matches began at 11:00) to find a mostly unorganized mob attempting to enter the premises.  A very small number of Open employees were trying to guide people into two lines to pass through the security check--one if you had a bag, another if you did not.  However, both the signs and the staff directing traffic were far too close to the entrance and nobody arriving had any idea what the massive lines were for.

Even worse was the fact that the "bag" line was inexplicably moving right along, while the "no bag" line was at a standstill (as you can see from the photo).  The alleged "express line" took us 49 minutes and we finally entered the grounds at 12:04 pm.

Hundreds (maybe even thousands) of people in the "non-express" line flew right past us.  Why?  Of the 10 security gates in operation, eight were being used for the "bag" line and only two for the "no bag" line.  When you have to empty your pockets and pass through a metal detector, it doesn't really take much longer for a person to glance in your bag as well--certainly not four times longer, which is the ratio they seemed to expect based on the gate distribution.

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