Leitz said that "Prime" status was awarded based on several factors, including an increased prize purse ($250,000) for the men and ($20,000) for the women, the history and prestige of the event, marketing of the event, media and web coverage and the structure of the event site itself.
""The U.S. Open is worthy of such status," Leitz said. "You can't deny the power of the U.S. Open. Our objective has always been to bring in the world's best surfers and really put on a great showcase for the city of Huntington Beach, and the world."
The U.S. Open was founded in 1994, but the competition's history dates to 1959, when it was called the West Coast Surfing Championships. The U.S .Open is North America's only combined six-star World Qualifying Series event on the ASP World Tour.