How WM Phoenix Open is making fans whole after congested, chaotic Saturday

Fans walk near the driving range during the third round of WM Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale (Stadium Course) on February 10, 2024 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

A view of the crush of fans onsite at TPC Scottsdale on Saturday at the 2024 WM Phoenix Open.

Getty Images

The WM Phoenix Open has long been known for its wild atmosphere, but this year things got so out of hand that the entry gates were temporarily closed and alcohol sales were halted.

The root cause: a particularly ill-timed series of downpours that resulted in the cancellation of not only the celebrity pro-am on Wednesday but also most of the day’s play on Thursday, too. The wet conditions rendered many of the course’s viewing areas unusable, resulting in extreme crowding elsewhere, especially on Saturday, traditionally the day with the highest attendance. In the tournament’s aftermath, fans, media and players have been critical of the tournament’s lack of crowd-control, which the Thunderbirds — the non-profit organization responsible for distributing the money raised from the tournament — said they intend to fix.

On Thursday, the group went a step further and announced that refunds will be issued for Saturday ticket-holders who were turned away during the temporary closure.

Change coming to WM Phoenix Open after mayhem, safety concerns
By: Jack Hirsh

“Last week, we encountered among the most difficult conditions in the history of the event, as heavy rain on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday morning contributed to a significant deterioration in the conditions at TPC Scottsdale,” the Thunderbirds wrote in an e-mailed statement. “This rainfall made a large percentage of the 190-acre golf course unusable by our fans and created significant operational challenges for the tournament. When these conditions created congestion throughout the golf course on Saturday, the decision was made to temporarily close the main entrance and end concession sales so that we could provide a pathway for fans to safely exit the golf course. 

“We understand the frustration that this caused for our fans.  Those fans who purchased a ticket and were denied entrance on Saturday can request a refund by emailing A dedicated team will be available to respond to inquiries and answer any questions.”

The statement also addressed the need for changes. “Not just for Friday and Saturday, but for the entire week,” the statement said.

What those changes might be — and how they’ll be implemented — remains to be seen. You can read the Thunderbirds’ statement in its entirety here

Exit mobile version