The Waste Management Phoenix Open typically has the highest attendance on the PGA Tour. It’s not even close. The crowds at TPC Scottsdale are monstrous.
However, in this unique year, the 2021 Waste Management Phoenix Open is just lucky to have fans in attendance. Most PGA Tour fans played during the pandemic haven’t allowed any fans outside of a player’s team and family.
Organizers of the 2021 Waste Management Phoenix Open, however, have been able to get approval for a plan to welcome as many as 5,000 fans per day during the tournament itself — from Thursday to Sunday. All told, the maximum 2021 Waste Management Phoenix Open attendance is 20,000.
In a normal year, the galleries get to TPC Scottsdale early — typically, at dawn — and they stay there late, typically well past sunset. The stands at the 16th hole fill up quickly, with thousands of people filing into the stadium seating around the infamous par 3 and making it hard to get a seat throughout the day.
Waste Management Phoenix Open attendance records
The Thunderbirds, the organization which puts on the Waste Management Phoenix Open, happily share Waste Management Phoenix Open attendance figures (estimates). In the past, they have shared the attendance figures by round and for the total tournament. The organization did so with pride, beaming at how the community supports the event.
The record for Waste Management Phoenix Open attendance was set in 2018, when a record of 719,179 fans went through the turnstiles, including a record 216,818 for Saturday’s third round.
Saturday is, by far, the most popular round to attend the tournament. With Super Bowl Sunday typically now the end date for the tournament, Sunday is more lightly attended and more reserved for golf fans. Behind the 216,818 figure for Saturday in 2018, the prior record was 204,906 in 2017 and 201,003 in 2016.
However, we won’t know much about attendance figures moving forward, post-pandemic. The Thunderbirds stopped announcing attendance estimates in 2019.