This week marks the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open presented by the Ak-Chin Indian Community (WM Phoenix Open). In celebration of “The Greenest Show on Grass,” we’ve compiled some interesting statistics as well as insight from local business leaders about the event below. 

Did You Know?

• The WM Phoenix Open is the largest zero waste event in the world. Since 2013, all tournament waste – nearly 5 million pounds – has either been recycled, composted, donated, reused or used to create energy.

• In addition, in recent years the tournament enhanced water conservation efforts through additional grey water collection points and it is now powered with 100% renewable energy.

• Last month, the PGA TOUR named the 2018 WM Phoenix Open, which was won by Gary Woodland in a playoff, as its “Tournament of the Year.”

• The WM Phoenix Open  Annexus Pro-Am will tee off Jan. 31 at 8:30 a.m. on TPC Scottsdale’s Stadium Course and feature celebrities, golfers and athletes including Emmitt Smith, Michael Phelps, Patrick Peterson, Justin Verlander, Greg Maddux, Jake Owen and Golden Tate. 

• This year, the WM Phoenix Open Coors Light Birds Nest will boast 12 musical acts spanning multiple genres from country to hip-hop, pop and EDM during its four-night music festival, which runs Wednesday through Saturday during tournament week.  Wednesday will feature country stars Old Dominion, Midland and Brandon Lay. Thursday will also feature a country theme with Jake Owen, Lee Brice and Michael Ray. Friday will feature The Chainsmokers and Snoop Dogg with Kelley James. Closing out the event on Saturday will be Martin Garrix, DJ Vice and Justin Mylo.

• In 2018, for the first time ever, The Thunderbirds eclipsed $12 million in fundraising through the tournament, raising more than $12.2 million for Arizona charities.

• The Thunderbirds and the WM Phoenix Open have raised more than $68 million for local charities since 2010 when Waste Management became the title sponsor. In its history, dating back to 1932, the tournament and Thunderbirds have raised more than $134 million for charities across Arizona.

• General Admission to The Waste Management Phoenix Open Presented by The Ak-Chin Indian Community is available starting at $45, per day, for Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. On Friday and Saturday, general admission starts at $60. 

And finally, we asked local business leaders to share how the WM Open is a true benefit to their organization:

Michael Kintner, Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino: “The Waste Management Phoenix Open presented by the Ak-Chin Indian Community is a wonderful opportunity for Harrah’s Ak-Chin to bring out our Total Rewards customers from all over the country. Inviting our guests to enjoy the “Greatest Show on Grass” is easy for us.  Who wouldn’t want to come to Arizona in January? The majority of our customers that join us for the Open are often escaping snow storms, so the sun and 70 degree Arizona weather is a huge draw. This year we will be hosting customers from Minnesota, Southern Indiana, New Orleans, Bossier City, Washington, Illinois, and California. In addition to their time at the Open, they will enjoy a private event out at the Casino and golf at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes.  These guests typically stay for three or four nights, so it is a great opportunity for them to experience our newly remodeled hotel and casino, enjoy some of our new restaurants and of course, see some amazing golf.”

Mike Brown, Washington Federal: “Washington Federal, for the first time ever, is proud to be a formal sponsor of the Waste Management Phoenix Open. We did so after several years attending the event with colleagues, team members, customers and business partners. There has not been one year where we did not develop a new (and authentic) relationship as a result of the event – often many of them. There is also the obvious teambuilding aspect to the event. We believe so much in it, in fact, we will be hosting our CEO during the event this year, who is coming in from Seattle to see “The Greatest Show on Grass” firsthand. While there, we hope to also show him the immense impact of the Thunderbirds and the Open. Last year along, they raised $12.2 million for local Arizona charities. That is very much in line with our own philosophy of giving, which we’ve enhanced locally over the past three years, notably with 2018 donations in excess of $65,000, including a $25,000 donation to UMOM New Day Centers (A Thunderbird grant recipient as well) and $15,000 to Care Fund. We also hope to encourage our emerging leaders at the bank to take an ownership role in hosting our guests, thereby developing new networking and leadership skills in the process.”

Dillan Micus, AXA Advisors Southwest: “For us, the Waste Management Phoenix Open impacts our business on a multitude of levels and have – as such – invested a lot of time and money into our sponsorship and partnership in this tournament every year. This seven-day event has caught on not just locally for us, but nationally. We now have cities such as San Francisco, New Jersey and Ohio where we have branches, who like us, use it to forge new relationships with clients and enhance the current relationships that we have with them. The Open is a good place to expose others to our industry and our firm’s culture; it showcases the opportunity that it can provide to new people to the business or experienced advisors who are simply looking for a change. Not only do we use it for client appreciation, we use it as an incentive to recognize our top employees. This event is fun for all who are involved – all the people we invite or bring continuously ask to come back because it’s so unique in the fact that it’s not something you see every day.”