JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - As early as 7 a.m. Friday, parking passes were sold out for required general parking at TPC Sawgrass.
Passes are also required ahead of time for taking the shuttle to TPC. But the shuttle, which runs multiple times a day, offers some peace from having to drive and park yourself.
Another option is taking an Uber. Because TPC has a partnership with Uber, there is no upcharge during the tournament and there is a designated drop-off area near the tournament that makes walking much less of a hassle.
In addition to those options, there is another way to get to TPC that's free. It’s an option being pushed by many locals in Sawgrass who are asking for the tournament to open up safer, better options because much of the traffic weaves in and out of their neighborhoods. The answer, they say, is biking.
“You can park your bike, but it’s not really advertised, like ‘park your bike here!’” says Tricia Booker, who lives in the heart of TPC.
She says she’s disappointed more people don’t walk or bike to alleviate the congestion. She says she's concerned for young children playing in neighborhoods where shuttles or other cars pass through.
“It really is my least favorite time of the year because you can’t do anything without adding 45 minutes on to your drive time,” Booker says.
She says kids get in free with an adult, but she gave up going to the tournament because of traffic a long time ago.
“Oh my gosh, I’d rather buy you tickets than go in with you, I can’t take it, it’s terrible,” Booker says.
Her husband, Bob Snell, a captain with St. Johns Fire and Rescue and a paramedic at TPC, is there every day.
He left for work on a bike and says it cut his commute at least in half and that it’s the only way to get around TPC during the tournament.
“It’s busy, constantly,” Snell says, “from noon until six we are responding to multiple calls at a time.”
Snell says they are flooded with calls mostly from people suffering from heat exhaustion.
He says without bikes they would practically be immobile. Paramedics were given bikes about seven years ago and he says it makes a huge difference.
If you do choose to ride your bike to the tournament you can park it at the Couples Gate off of ATP Boulevard or at Gate B inside the Sawgrass Gates off of PGA Tour Boulevard. Tournament volunteers will secure and monitor them free of charge.
© 2017 WTLV-TV