25,700 In Attendance At Hotel Fitness Championship (VIDEO)

By Rachel Martin - 21Alive

September 4, 2013 Updated Sep 4, 2013 at 8:22 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) – Now that the Web.com Tour and Hotel Fitness Championship has wrapped up for this year, how do organizers feel about the event? We spoke with organizers to get their reaction.

The numbers are in! Last week's Web.com Tour and Hotel Fitness Championship showed a great turnout, and organizers say they're hoping to do the same, if not better, for the years to come.

According to Tournament Director Duke Butler a total of 25, 700 people were in attendance at Sycamore Hills Golf Club with 12,000 attending over the weekend alone.

“It’s right around what we thought we could expect. We were hoping to see around 30,000, but we got awfully close. It was Labor Day weekend, as everybody knows, so a lot of people were at the lake, a lot of people were at the car show and hopefully next year they’ll all be out here with us,” said Butler.

Sycamore Hills General Manager Eric Schneider says he's gotten nothing but positive feedback, and his goal was to create an environment that wasn't just about golf to attract non-golfers to the event.

“We actually had the long-time tournament administrator from the Web.com Tour pull us aside afterwards and tell us it was the best first year event of any kind that he had ever been associated with, which made us feel great,” said Schneider.

Looking forward to next year, Schneider says he'd like to make the tournament more interactive for spectators.

"Giving our spectators and our patrons places to view the action is important and certainly will factor into next year's planning. It goes back to that fan experience. We want them to be able to see a lot of golf, so we'll just look for ways to make that happen in a seamless way,” he said.

“We’ll build different spectator bleachers around the golf course,” said Butler. “We saw the ones on 9 and 16 worked really well, and the ones on 18 were packed...we'll kind of build around 18. We hope to have a few more than 16 boxes next year, which I believe we will, and then we can do it on some of the other holes around the golf course leading up to the finish.”

Butler says there are other enhancements they want to put in place, and they’ll announce those plans in October.

The one thing organizers say they would not change about this year’s event is the weather, as they never had to stop, delay, or evacuate the event due to storm threats.




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