SBJ/Jan. 30-Feb. 5, 2017/Events and Attractions

Phoenix Open up to eight headliners for concerts

The PGA Tour’s Waste Management Phoenix Open is known for its raucous hospitality, but the event this year is doubling down on the entertainment factor by booking two headliners for each night of the tournament.

It is the first time the tournament, dubbed “The Greatest Show on Grass,” has booked two headliners per night in its Coors Light Birds Nest nightclub venue that hosts concerts at the TPC at Scottsdale from Wednesday through Saturday night of the event, for a total of eight headline acts. Previously the tournament offered only one headline act each night.

The emphasis on the concert series is part of the PGA Tour’s trend to ramp up the entertainment options for fans attending tournaments.

“We are turning it into a music festival,” said Phoenix Open tournament chairman Andy Markham. “We just figured that we are going to have people out here so why not bring in two headliners?”

The tournament week, which runs from Jan. 30-Feb. 5, last year drew 618,000 people. Markham hopes that the additional concerts, which range from country to hip hop, will drive even more fan interest.

This year’s musical lineup features Jake Owen and Chase Rice on Wednesday night, Toby Keith and The Band Perry on Thursday, Kaskade and Flo Rida on Friday, and Blink 182 and Steve Aoki on Saturday night. Tickets to the concerts are sold separately from the tournament tickets on all but one day, Wednesday, when a ticket to the Birds Nest will include access to that day’s practice round.

The Thursday and Saturday night concerts at the Birds Nest, which can accommodate 11,000 people for the shows, are sold out. Markham expects to sell out all four nights, which would be a first for the tournament.

Offsetting the undisclosed costs of adding the headliners is a scaled increase in ticket prices for the concerts that have boosted general ticket prices for the Birds Nest to $95 from $55 last year. Top ticket prices range from $250 to $400. Overall, hospitality revenue is tracking 7 percent higher than last year’s tournament.

While the Birds Nest offering is an entertainment staple of the tournament, the hallmark of the event is its raucous Par 3 16th hole that is surrounded by grandstands and suites. This year, 500 general seats were added to the grandstands, making the loudest hole on the PGA Tour even louder.

“When it’s full, we will have over 16,000 fans on one hole,” Markham said. “It will be the most ever.”

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