'A little bit too much': Fans, players call for change after chaos at WM Phoenix Open
A volatile mix of huge crowds, mud, and alcohol at the WM Phoenix Open had fans and players talking about changes needed to keep the event safe while maintaining its unique atmosphere.
Organizers Struggle to Manage Crowds
On Saturday, the WM Phoenix Open experienced a surge of attendees, leading to overcrowding near the entrance. To alleviate the situation, the tournament shut its gates in the early afternoon, leaving ticketed fans unable to enter. Alcohol and food sales were also cut off to further mitigate the crowding. According to the Scottsdale Police Department, muddy conditions and the unusual weather played a significant role in the chaos. Large crowds only occupied a small portion of the course, resulting in massive congestion.
Additionally, there were issues with ticket scanning, as some fans were allowed in without having their tickets checked. The organization has not yet announced whether they plan to make any procedural changes in the future.
Fans Disappointed by Logistical Challenges
Many regular attendees of the WM Phoenix Open expressed their frustration with the events that unfolded and the logistical problems they encountered at the tournament. Some fans mentioned that they would need the organizers to implement significant changes, such as new entrance points and more concessions, for them to continue attending.
Issues like long wait times at concessions and overcrowded areas made it difficult for fans to enjoy the event. Lack of communication from the tournament, especially regarding closures on food and alcohol sales, added to the chaos. Fans criticized the handling of the situation, emphasizing the need for better communication.
Players Debate on Event Atmosphere and Safety
The chaotic atmosphere and behavior of some fans raised concerns among players participating in the WM Phoenix Open. While many players appreciate the unique energy and enthusiastic crowds, some felt that the line had been crossed. Incidents such as fans heckling during players' swings and making personal attacks began to overshadow the positive aspects of the tournament.
This sparked discussions among players about the potential consequences if such behavior continues to escalate in the coming years. While some players expressed their commitment to returning, others expressed doubts. Safety became a significant concern, with worries about potential accidents and tragedies due to intoxicated fans. Players called for measures such as limiting alcohol sales and implementing strict regulations to ensure a safer environment.