More than 30,000 people are expected to swing into north Frisco for the 2023 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship in late May. City staff and Professional Golfers’ Association of America officials said Frisco is ready for the influx of tourists.

Held at the PGA’s Fields Ranch East golf course, the championship is scheduled for May 24-28. First announced in 2022, the tournament is set to take place following the build-out of the PGA’s new headquarters, and the Omni PGA resort and hotel, which is slated to open May 2.

“PGA is, among all the exciting brands in Frisco, the first one that will truly put Frisco on a global stage on a regular basis,” said Jason Ford, president of the Frisco Economic Development Corporation.

The roads surrounding the PGA campus are expected to become more congested during the championship week as thousands of cars head toward the tournament. Parking for the tournament is its own issue being addressed by city officials.

The five-day tournament is the result of more than a year’s worth of collaboration and teamwork between city and PGA officials. Attendees at the PGA tournament are projected to spend more than $20 million during the championship, money that will go toward Frisco, according to estimates from city staff.

Boosts from local tourism are relatively normal in Frisco: the city saw $443.3 million in purchases in 2021 directly linked to visitors’ day trips and overnight stays, including hotel taxes, and state and local taxes, according to the Texas Travel Research Dashboard.

“More than 5,000 jobs in the region will be directly supported by the event,” said Joshua Dill, director of sports and events for Visit Frisco, which handles tourism for the city, in an email.

Of the more than 30,000 spectators estimated to come to the championship, Dill said at least 10% are expected to stay overnight in hotels throughout Frisco.

“There is no doubt that this is the first of many very impactful events at PGA Frisco that will positively impact our economy,” Dill said.

The physical championship space is under construction as of early April, said Jason Mengel, the 2023 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship director.

Infrastructure capacity

City officials said the roads surrounding the PGA campus are prepared to handle any additional cars.

The PGA campus is located in the Frisco Fields development, a more than 2,500-acre stretch of land holding multiple developments. Most of the roads surrounding the Fields development have been continuously updated and worked on for years, Transportation Planning Manager Joel Fitts said at a March 7 City Council meeting.

The estimated 30,000 visitors over the course of the tournament is a “conservative estimation” from Visit Frisco, Dill said.

PGA representatives have been working with various city and state departments to limit congestion on the roads, Mengel said.

“We have had discussions with the [North Texas Toll Authority] about any construction and any impact that they are expecting during the championship, but also what they can do to lessen the impact to traffic flow during that week,” Mengel said. “Our goal is, of course, hosting a safe and secure event.”

The Waze navigation app will be updated with the most up-to-date construction information by city staff.

PGA officials have also been meeting regularly with Frisco residents and homeowners associations in the neighborhoods near its headquarters on PGA Parkway, Mengel said.

City staff even attended PGA tournaments in other states to map out what Frisco would need to handle a tournament and the visitors it would bring, Frisco Assistant Transportation Director Brian Moen said.

“We’ve talked to a couple of other host cities [PGA] had in the past and then also the city of McKinney, [which] hosted [the AT&T] Byron Nelson [golf tournament],” Moen said. “We’ve been in contact with them, comparing and learning what works [and] what doesn’t work.”

The Senior PGA Championship is slightly smaller than the other tournaments planned for Frisco over the next decade, Moen said.

“Frisco will host an unprecedented number of PGA majors in tournaments: 26 events in 14 years,” Ford said. “No other city in the country is hosting that cadence of PGA events.”

The lineup of PGA events includes two Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler Women’s PGA Championships in 2025 and 2031, and two PGA Championships in 2027 and 2034, according to the PGA.

Preparing for traffic

Data compiled by city staff and published online estimates traffic on the roads around the PGA courses—the same roads that will be used by championship attendees to get to Fields Ranch East—is 5,000-10,000 vehicles per day.

That level of traffic is a relatively low number for Frisco roads, according to the city’s data. More heavily used roads throughout the city, such as Preston Road, can see at least 50,000 vehicles every day. Officials anticipate the North Frisco roads near the PGA could become that congested once championship traffic begins.

City staff plan to alert nearby residents ahead of the event to prepare for increased congestion and have already created parking plans that could also limit the number of cars headed for the PGA, Moen said.

“Certainly, it’ll be like any other special events that we’ve hosted, whether it’s [an] FC Dallas game or something over at The Star,” Moen said.

Since the championship is taking place late in May, vehicles with students will be off the roads, Moen said.

One of three planned extra parking locations is going to be the FC Dallas stadium. Staff with the soccer club have also been working with the PGA, Moen said.

“A couple of the high schools that are up near the PGA site will be available for some remote parking as well,” Moen said.

People using the remote parking lots, locations for which is expected to be released in April, will be taken to the championship by shuttle, Moen said. Shuttles have been used for parking overflow from large city events before, such as when the city hosted its Fourth of July Freedom Fest celebrations.

The parking plan was created with the help of PGA, Frisco engineering and city staff, Moen said.

Tournament revenue

The tournament’s expected revenue will help Frisco in various ways, Ford said. Not only will money generated from the championship and taxes collected by the city from the PGA help Frisco, there will be people and businesses drawn to the city for the first time that could end up moving.

“It also gives us access to more business leaders and influencers to help us to attract more companies and projects and great jobs in Frisco,” Ford said.

Frisco saw 16 corporations move to the city in 2022 alone, according to a Frisco EDC press release.

Attracting the country’s top companies to Frisco has been a goal of city leaders for years, something the PGA tournaments will help ensure due to the number of company leaders who play golf, Frisco Chamber of Commerce President Tony Felker said.

“This truly becomes not just a tourism opportunity, but this becomes a huge economic development opportunity,” Felker said.

The true mark of the tournament’s success will be when it ends with a trophy in the hands of the next golf champion, Mengel said.

“Someone’s life is going to change,” Mengel said. “These are the things that mark your career and will put you into the history book.”