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After last year’s riot, a tamer, gentler US Open of Surfing comes to Huntington Beach

by AirTalk

Huntington Beach is busy with beachgoers on a recent afternoon. The beach will host the U.S. Open of Surfing starting Saturday. Benjamin Brayfield/KPCC

The U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach kicks off tomorrow. The biggest surfing competition in the world brings in millions of dollars for Surf City, USA and local businesses. But this year, event organizers and city officials are scaling back the event in an attempt to prevent a repeat of what happened last year. After the competition, thousands of people flooded Main Street and a riot ensued that ended up costing the city over $30,000 in damages. 

Fast-forward to this weekend, where alcohol sales and consumption will be banned. It also won’t feature a live music stage, and there will be an increase in police presence. 

The competition attracts tens of thousands of spectators every year. Has last year’s riot taken the bloom off the competition?

Guests:

Mitch O’Brien, Lieutenant, Huntington Beach Police Department; for four years, Lt. O'Brien represented the city's interests in organizing the US Open of Surfing

Dave Brooks, Founder of Amplify - a new media company in the events business; and surf enthusiast

 

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