The Phoenix Open: A Money Machine
Arizona's $450 million golf tournament.
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Pictured above is Philmont Country Club in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania — a Concert Golf Partners Golf Club.
Concert Golf Partners is the leading boutique owner-operator of upscale, private clubs nationwide. Since its founding in 2011, Concert Golf has developed a reputation as the buyer of choice for private club owners seeking to pass the torch to a high-quality operator.
Concert Golf has a portfolio of 29 boutique golf clubs in the United States — below are a few.
The Muttontown Golf Club — East Norwich, New York
The Ranch Country Club — Denver, Colorado
Indian Springs Country Club — Boynton Beach, Florida
Concert Golf is actively seeking to add to its boutique portfolio. If your club or you know of a club looking to explore an acquisition — reach out to the Concert Golf Team below.
Hey Golfers —
The WM Phoenix Open is an enormous event. The tournament consistently attracts more fans than any golf tournament in the world. And it has been that way for decades.
In 1991 — when the tournament was called the ‘Phoenix Open’, it was attended by 365,000 fans over seven days. And over 100,000 fans on Saturday alone.
Attendance statistics were last reported in 2018 — with 719,179 fans in attendance over seven days.
From 2015 to 2018, fan attendance grew by 27%.
Where are the fans coming from?
An economic impact study of the WM Phoenix Open was conducted in 2017. Of the 655,000 fans that attended the event — 99,800 were non-residents of the Phoenix metro area.
The average non-resident fan spent $393 per day on travel, hotel, food, tickets, etc. Non-residents dumped around $140 million into the Phoenix area during their trip to the WM Phoenix Open.
In 2017 — 4.7 million people lived in the Phoenix metro area. And 555,200 fans that attended lived in the Phoenix metro. Of course, some fans attended multiple days. Nonetheless — Phoenix shows up for the WM Phoenix Open.
Golf tournaments have a unique advantage over most other sports for fan attendance because the event lasts multiple days. So let’s look at Saturday’s attendance at the WM Phoenix Open.
Saturday’s attendance first broke the 150,000 mark in 1996. It wouldn’t get back there until 2002. Saturday attendance broke the 200,000 barrier in 2016, and in 2018 over 216,000 fans attended on Saturday.
Here is Saturday’s comparison to other one-day events.
As a golf reference — The Open Championship had a record attendance last year with 290,000 fans. The Phoenix Open has well over double the fans that attended last year’s Open.
With that many people converging on one site — it is a boom for the local economy.
Moving back to the 2017 WM Phoenix Open economic impact report. The tournament generated $389 million for the local economy.
Direct sales tax revenue alone was $13 million. And $10.1 million was raised for charity.
Fast forward to 2022 — the WM Phoenix Open contributed $453 million to the local economy. An increase of 16% since the 2017 study. And the WM Phoenix Open generated $10.5 million for charity last year.
How does the WM Phoenix Open stack up against golf’s most prestigious events regarding economic dollars?
The 2021 Super Bowl brought in $477 million to the local economy, and the 2019 NCAA Final Four resulted in $143 million to the Minneapolis, Minnesota economy.
I want to note that economic impact studies are widely debated — several variables are in play. However, a significant factor of the contribution to the local economy is fan attendance — the Phoenix Open has that.
One of the crazier stats is how much alcohol is sold at the WM Phoenix Open.
Last year — Crescent Crown Distributing delivered 45,000 cases of beer. They sold around 750,000 beers at the tournament. Most drinks sell for $9 — resulting in $6.75 million in beer and other drinks.
The logistics operation of selling this much beer and other drinks is impressive. Crescent Crown Distributing begins delivering beer in early February and keeps ten semi-trucks onsite that act as a warehouse. In total, they will make about 80 deliveries to the tournament.
The WM Phoenix Open is great for the local economy. And it is also fantastic for the players as it is a designated event this year.
The winner will receive $3.6 million out of the $20 million purse. It was only 23 years ago that the total purse was $3.2 million, and Tom Lehman won $576,000 in 2000.
The total purse has increased nearly seven times the amount since 2000. Inflation hasn’t even doubled in that same period.
It is going to be a fantastic week of golf.
Have yourself a great Monday. Talk to you next week!
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