The Waste Management Phoenix Open is the highest-attended PGA Tour event, based on publicly announced attendance figures. It's not even close. And the tournament's organizers, The Thunderbirds, seemingly announce new attendance records each and every year.
So, how many people actually attend the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale?
In 2017, the announced attendance was 655,434 people coming to the event from Monday through Sunday, with Saturday typically being the tournament's most crowded day. In 2017, a record 204,906 fans went to the Waste Management Phoenix Open on Saturday. After all, Saturday is the first day of the weekend, and it's Moving Day on the PGA Tour. That combination, along with common good weather, brings out anyone and everyone to the tournament, even if they're not much into golf. So many fans go to experience the unique spectacle that is the tournament, much akin to why people go to the Kentucky Derby or other Triple Crown horse races.
With an improving field of young stars in recent years, including Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and more, there is the possibility of breaking more attendance records in the years to come.
Needless to say, it's a popular ticket. However, attendance usually drops significantly on Sunday. One reason is people have to work on Monday, so getting overserved isn't as good of an idea as on Saturday. Another reason is the Super Bowl. In recent years, the Phoenix Open has been a sporting prelude to the NFL championship game, including when the Super Bowl is played in University of Phoenix Stadium in nearby Glendale.
Critics say the announced attendance numbers are seriously inflated. Even if that's the case, cutting the announced attendance figure in half would still make it the most popular PGA Tour event by far.
Either way, the TV ratings are usually very good for the weekend rounds, and lots of fans will tune in to golf instead of watching hours-long pre-game shows for the Super Bowl. May as well catch some action before the main course.