The 2020 Masters will be played without patrons when Augusta National Golf Club hosts the major in its rescheduled Nov. 12-15 slot.
Augusta National chair Fred Ridley made the announcement on Wednesday, confirming what many suspected.
“Since our initial announcement to postpone the 2020 Masters, we have remained committed to a rescheduled Tournament in November while continually examining how best to host a global sporting event amid this pandemic,” said Ridley in an announcement on the Masters website. “As we have considered the issues facing us, the health and safety of everyone associated with the Masters always has been our first and most important priority.
“Throughout this process, we have consulted with health officials and a variety of subject matter experts. Ultimately, we determined that the potential risks of welcoming patrons and guests to our grounds in November are simply too significant to overcome.”
No patrons or guests will be allowed on the grounds during the tournament. All ticketholders for the 2020 Masters will be guaranteed the same tickets for the 2021 Masters. According to ESPN, Masters ticketholders and badgeholders will have an opportunity to purchase merchandise for this year’s event through an online shop.
The Masters Tournament means hundreds of millions of dollars to the Augusta, Ga., economy, including restaurants, hotels, housing rentals, airplane taxes and a lot more. That was no doubt a consideration, but bringing in thousands of fans from around the country, and perhaps the world, to a pandemic hotspot like Georgia would be a risk.
“Even in the current circumstances, staging the Masters without patrons is deeply disappointing. The guests who come to Augusta each spring from around the world are a key component to making the Tournament so special,” Ridley said. “Augusta National has the responsibility, however, to understand and accept the challenges associated with this virus and take the necessary precautions to conduct all aspects of the Tournament in a safe manner. We look forward to the day when we can welcome all of our patrons back, hopefully in April 2021.”