PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Thousands of people are pouring into Northeast Florida for The Players Championship and that means a big boost to the local economy.
Businesses owners have said the event benefits them in the long run.
For more than a decade, The Players Championship has been held in May, but this year, it’s returning to March. Despite the change in date, many people think the same crowds will show up to watch some of the world’s greatest golfers play at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach.
Sara Frasca, the owner of Trasca & Co Eatery, has had a front-row seat to the excitement of The Players Championship for the past four years. Her restaurant is a short walk away from the gates of TPC Sawgrass where some of the world’s greatest golfers will tee off in front thousands of locals and visitors from around the world.
This is the week Frasca says she sees a lot more foot traffic in and out of her restaurant and other nearby businesses.
“It’s obviously a very lively time for the area. The hotels that are near us are packed, we’ve got a lot of visitors to come from out of town and then the locals like to show off the town,” Frasca said.
Last year, nearly 58 percent of the tournament's attendees traveled from outside the region's five major counties, according to the PGA Tour, contributing to the $151 million the tournament generates annually for Northeast Florida.
Sam Nadolski of Atlanta is one of those visitors. He is going to the tournament for the first time. “I think it’s really cool for people to see that there’s so much to do outside of the championship but it’s literally within walking distance,” Nadolski said.
Frasca pointed out that while this week typically means a boost in business, it also generates word among the locals and in the months to follow.