The Players return in 2021 is ‘great step’ for community

After canceling final 3 rounds of this year’s event, golf tourney plans to be back next year

(Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images) (Cliff Hawkins, 2020 Getty Images)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After the decision to cancel the final three rounds of The Players Championship last March, the tournament announced Tuesday that it plans to return to Northeast Florida in 2021.

And that’s great news for the area, businesses and golf fans alike, said Players executive director Jared Rice.

“We work our butts off to make sure the community has a great time and we have a huge impact. And when we think about these questions we have to do it in a way that it is safe and we are telling people what to expect when they come out,” Rice said on Wednesday. “We are looking forward to a scenario when we are back to pre-Covid normalcy, but this is a great step for our community.”

It’ll look different, however.

The Players is planning to host a limited number of ticketed spectators and guests in 2021.

The course will include fewer buildings onsite, as well as fewer chalets and stands for spectators. That’s because tickets will be limited. So far, the exact number that will be allowed to be on the course has not been determined, but it won’t look like it has in past years.

Overall, the tournament won’t have as big a footprint, so that will mean less of an economic boost to businesses in Ponte Vedra and nearby beaches. The Tour is exploring some new ways to engage with fans, both locally and around the world, but they haven’t released the specifics. The tournament is scheduled to tee off on March 11, 2021.

“We take great pride in being an event a sport that brings some relief brings some sense of normalcy back to people in this otherwise challenging time,” Rice said.

About the Authors:

Jamal St. Cyr is an award-winning sports anchor who joined the News4Jax sports team in 2019.