Waste Management Open
A Party or a Golf Tournament
Getting Wasted at the Waste Management Open
It used to be the Phoenix Open, then FBR and now the Waste Management Open
but is it a party with a golf tournament or is it a golf tournament with a party. It has been known as “The greatest show on Grass” and now Waste Management is trying to call it “The greenest show on grass.
Read this and you decide!!!
First of all this tournament has, by far, a larger attendance than any golf tournament in the World. This year, 2012, the attendance was over 518,000-- that is over 10 % of the population of the greater Phoenix area. Saturday alone the crowd estimate was 175,000. Some golf tournaments don’t get that for the entire tournament. I don’t know what is second largest, but it does not even come close. It could even be twice as large as the next largest tour stop.
It probably has the largest attendance of any sporting event ever in the US and World Cup Soccer, and the Olympics may be the only ones in the world that are larger.
When the sun goes down, the party continues in the birds nest with somewhere between 10,000 and 15,000 people partying each night. And with all this partyin’ and beautiful women its probably no surprise that this stop on the tour has the highest attendance of tour player wives..!! I’m guessin’ they are there to protect their interests.
The core of the party is at #16-- where they have built stands around the entire hole, to pack in 20,000 plus. That is more than a sell out at an NBA game and nearly half of the attendance at NFL games. One writer called the 16th hole Thunderdome. The fans have been drinking (and that puts it politely) and with the cheering good shots and the booing bad shots, you would think they were at a hockey game or even a English soccer match. Maybe the days of hushed pious tones at a golf tournament are changing.
I thought it was limited to Mardi Gras where they encouraged women to chug their beers and drop their tops. But it happens at 16 as well. ( I never saw anyone drop their top but I certainly heard my share of encouraging chants. There are probably more decked out women here than on the best Saturday night on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip. One young girl was overheard to say “If you didn’t wear your stilettos, don’t bother showing up”. And yes its true, thousand of the fans spend the day here and never see even one golf shot.
They sold nearly 10,000 hamburgers, over 20,000 hot dogs and over 100,000 beers.
Now these people know how to party!!
They have raised over $70 million for charities $43 million in the past 10 years, thats an average of over $6 million a year.
There was not a trash container on the course--just compost and recycle bins and 500 recycle ambassadors to help you put your waste in the correct bin. The goal is to have zero waste and they report that they accomplished over90% of that goal. They even had recycle kiosks: put something in, and get a discount coupon for something- now thats not just leadership, that may be the most involved and successful title sponsorship going. And if recycleables is not enough the tournament used 125,000 KW of green energy credits to power everything at the tournament. “By powering the Waste Management Phoenix Open with green renewable energy we move even closer to becoming the greenest show on grass” Alex Baker, this years tournament chairman said’ They strive to become the greenest sporting event in the world.
Did I mention sky boxes? Mr. Baker, told me that “This year they sold 210. That’s 44 more than last year” and probably substantially more than the next largest tournament
Is this the largest annual event in AZ? If its not I don’t know what is.
By the way Kyle Stanley won, after Spencer Levin lost a 6 shot lead on Sunday, which is almost what happened to Kyle the prior week at Torrey Pines when he lost a seven shot lead only to get beat in a playoff---- did you know that? Do you even care? Or did you just come here to party?