The Waste Management Phoenix Open is more than five months away, but already the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted “The Greenest Show on Grass.”
Tournament chairman Scott Jenkins announced on Wednesday that most of the hospitality venues that normally make up the infrastructure of the grounds at TPC Scottsdale will not be constructed for the 2021 edition of the PGA Tour’s annual stop in the Phoenix area.
“Due to continued health challenges surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the landscape at the Waste Management Phoenix Open will unfortunately look different this year,” Jenkins said in a statement. “This week, we notified our suite holders that most of the hospitality venues that create our event’s incredible tournament atmosphere will not be constructed. In light of the fact that we usually start building our venues in late September/early October, it is just not prudent to do so under the current circumstances.”
The host Thunderbirds, the Tour, Scottsdale and state officials continue to plan for the Open, scheduled for Feb. 4-7 – Super Bowl weekend – and Jenkins said that as of now, “it is our every intention to have fans at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. … In cooperation with Waste Management and our other partners, we are pivoting and planning an event that may have less fans and venues but will still be a world-class event that will make our community proud and support our charity partners.”
Since the PGA Tour returned to play after the pandemic-forced suspension, no fans have been allowed to attend tournaments. That ban was extended last month through the rest of the current season, scheduled to conclude with the Tour Championship, Sept. 4-7 in Atlanta. The 2020-21 season begins the following week at the Safeway Open in Napa, California.