Five bucket-list U.S. sporting events you can attend
Published by USA Today | By Larry Olmsted
“While it does not claim a title for the oldest or most challenging of golf’s four Majors, its meticulously manicured setting and exclusivity have made The Masters not just the most desirable golf event, but what is widely regarded as the “toughest ticket in sports.” That’s because almost none are offered to the public, with host Augusta National, a private club, selling an extremely limited number of practice round ($65) and one-day ($100) tickets to winners of a drawing. This slim chance is nearly a year in advance, and already closed for the 2016 Masters.
Scalped tickets sell for extremely high prices, and exacerbating the scarcity of tickets is a shortage of hotel rooms, so deep-pocketed visitors typically rent homes at greatly inflated prices. The good news is that if you do get a ticket, the event itself is extremely affordable and starry-eyed visitors describe it as frozen in time. “As if they collected everything worth being nostalgic about from the 1950s and decided ‘no more.’ Prices are set and will not change, there are no cellphones, there are no cameras … Pimento cheese sandwiches still only cost $1.50,” explained Tyler Dillon, who grew up nearby and now runs the Masters package program for tour outfitter Butterfield & Robinson.
There is no official travel partner, but many companies offer Masters packages, including Butterfield & Robinson, PrimeSport and Chad Clark Travel. Clark estimates that to attend the four-day tournament with accommodations, tickets and no extra frills costs a minimum of about $13,000. Many bucket-list visitors with budget concerns go for just one day, or a less pricey Monday-to-Wednesday practice round. These have long been easier tickets, and some guests prefer the atmosphere because cameras are allowed and players more engaging and willing to sign autographs.”