Friday, 17 August 2012 00:00
Just before the 11:08 a.m. train rolled into the Farmingdale train station, heading west to Penn Station, the crowd gathered in front of the train station began to hear of the comprehensive transportation plan outlined by MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) President Helena Williams for the upcoming Barclays Professional Golf Association (PGA) Tournament.
The four-day tournament, sponsored by the PGA in partnership with the MTA Long Island Rail Road, will be held Thursday, August 23 through Sunday, Aug. 26. County Executive Edward Mangano said he anticipates that the tournament as well as the two-day practice sessions on Tuesday, Aug. 21 and Wednesday, Aug. 22, will provide a substantial boost to Nassau’s local economy.
“The impact from a high profile event like the Barclays PGA Tournament can have a significant and far reaching effect on Nassau County’s economy,” said County Executive Mangano.
Williams and Mangano were joined by Farmingdale Mayor Ralph Ekstrand, Deputy Mayor Patricia Christiansen, Barclays officials from the PGA Tour, local transportation companies, MTA service agents, MTA police and other local officials and participants.
Mangano discussed how economists are projecting over $34 million in economic benefit for the region. With the MTA Long Island Rail Road adding additional trains to and from the Farmingdale Station during days of the competition and instituting a new online process, by CooCoo.com for purchasing and printing train tickets. Thirty-minute express trains will run from Penn Station to Farmingdale during the week.
Executive Director of Barclays, Peter Mele said, “We’re very excited to be here; Bethpage is one of the best courses in the country.”
Nassau County Auxiliary Chief JoAnn Edling is prepared. She told Anton Newspapers, “It will be business as usual; [officers] will be directing traffic,” in addition to maintaining order, and helping the high volume of expected visitors.
This will be the third time Farmingdale has played host to a major golf event, the most recent being 2009 for the U.S. Open. The Barclays is played on the Black Course at Bethpage State Park, Aug. 21–26. The tournament is expected to draw as many as 35,000 spectators on each of the four days of competition and the LIRR is ready to provide transportation for a third or more of those attending.
According to an independent economic analysis performed by Camoin Associates, the Barclays PGA Tournament should generate 10,000 to 15,000 attendees for the first two warm-up days, then between 30,000 and 35,000 attendees for each of the four competition days of the event. Of the anticipated 140,000 total ticket sales, estimates indicate 80 percent of them will be “new” visits to Nassau County. Utilizing a formula that analyzes daily visitors and those staying overnight, visitor attendees are estimated to spend $34.4 million in the local economy.
Farmingdale residents and commuters should go to http://farmingdalevillage.com/ for street closure maps, parking permit holder changes and parking meter permit requirements. Comprehensive train service schedules, specifically for The Barclays event week, are located at the train station, at the village hall, and online.
Christy Hinko contributed to this article