Super Bowl spotlight shines brightly on Phoenix Open, too
PHOENIX -- The end of January marks a collision in the Valley between one of Arizona's most highly anticipated events, the Waste Management Phoenix Open, and sports' biggest show, the Super Bowl.
The Super Bowl, with its hype and its Roman Numerals, commands center stage. The Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee estimates some 90,000 visitors and 6,000 media personnel will descend upon Arizona for Super Bowl XLIX festivities, and the Waste Management Phoenix Open can't wait to welcome them to town.
The Greenest Show on Grass is ready for all that comes with the big game.
"The impact will be tremendously great," said Rob Myers, media relations director for the golf tournament. "The tournament is sandwiched between the NFL Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl and is the perfect daytime entertainment venue for visitors to attend. As long as the weather cooperates, we expect attendance to be up over last year -- and last year we had record attendance numbers. The worldwide exposure the Valley will receive through all three events -- the WM Phoenix Open, Pro Bowl and Super Bowl -- is awesome."
While the Super Bowl and the WM Phoenix Open are still weeks away, the impact has already begun.
Myers said ticket sales have been brisk. "We've sold ticket packages earlier and at a faster pace this year because we started our tournament marketing efforts earlier. A number of those purchasing tournament hospitality ticket packages are also attending the Super Bowl.''
The Coors Light Birds Nest is also benefitting early from the extra buzz. This year's Birds Nest features artists like Kid Rock, Capital Cities, Darius Rucker and Afrojack.
Tickets for the Jan. 30 Kid Rock Show went on sale on Nov. 8 and sold out Nov. 25. "We've never sold out a Birds Nest show in November," Myers said.
Another milestone is also within reach. The tournament host Phoenix Thunderbirds have raised $93 million for local charities over the years and are expecting to raise more than $7 million from proceeds of this year's tournament. That would set them up to surpass $100 million in charitable giving.
This isn't the first time the Phoenix Open has benefitted from having the Super Bowl in town.
The 1996 Super Bowl at Sun Devil Stadium resulted in a 7 percent increase in attendance, and in 2008, when the Patriots played the Giants at University of Phoenix Stadium, overall tournament attendance increased by more than 30,000 to 538,356 for the week -- a record that still stands. "We also saw more national companies (those without a presence in the Valley) purchase hospitality ticket packages at the tournament -- and we're seeing this happen again this year," Myers said.
The Pro Bowl kicks off the busiest week in the Valley on Sunday, Jan. 25, with the Waste Management Phoenix Open opening for business at TPC Scottsdale on Monday, Jan. 26, with pro-am activities and other auxiliary events. Tournament play begins on Thursday, Jan. 29, and runs through Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 1, with the final round scheduled to conclude about an hour before kickoff.