Medinah prepares for Ryder Cup

September 21, 2012 3:38:39 PM PDT
The eyes of the sports world will be on the Chicago area next week.

Ryder Cup golf matches between the United States and Europe begin one week from Friday at Medinah Country Club.

The event is held every other year and it is expected to have a big economic impact on the area.

The 39th Ryder Cup is coming to the historic Medinah Country Club. It's the first time the "Super Bowl" of golf, as it's referred to, has come to Illinois and putting on this tournament takes a lot of work.

"We've been building this site for actually four months, " said Michael Belot, Ryder Cup director. "But so far, we could not be more excited for next week."

Thousands of workers were there Friday making sure the course looks good and everything is set for the players, corporate sponsors and nearly 45,000 fans coming to watch.

The Ryder Cup doesn't just affect the country club, but virtually every community around it; $150 million is expected to be generated. And Lake Park High School, located across the street, is even shutting down for the entire week.

"Not an easy decision to close down school, but truly the main reason, the biggest factor was the safety of our schools, being able to transport 1,500 students to east campus and 1,500 to west campus," said Lynne Panega, Lake Park High School superintendent. "We didn't think it was possible to get the students to school."

But students aren't exactly slacking off; 900 students, staff and parents are volunteering for the Ryder Cup event, and the school is earning about $400,000 for helping out.

The international golf event pits 24 of the world's best golfers -- 12 Americans and 12 Europeans -- against each other for three days of golf matches.

Events start for the public Tuesday, and local businesses are already booked solid.

"We're pretty booked, pretty booked for the week. We don't look for extra business; we sold out," said Jerry DeMarco, Demarco's Ristorante, Itasca.


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