A Saturday night concert. A wine bar. And a special hang-out area for Wells Fargo customers.
After a one-year hiatus, the Wells Fargo Championship golf tournament is back at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte next week with some new attractions.
The PGA Tour stop that dates to 2003 moved last spring to Wilmington to make way for the PGA Championship, which drew record crowds at Quail Hollow in August. Now the Wells Fargo is back at its traditional home, and new management is looking to spice things up.
Of course, the biggest way to ratchet up excitement is out of the organizers' hands: Revived superstar Tiger Woods has until Friday to sign up to play in the tournament, joining other big names such as Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Masters winner Patrick Reed.
"We would love to have him," said tournament director Gary Sobba. "He's been here many times. We're prepared for him if he commits. Obviously, we think he would positively impact the field."
This year's event, which runs April 30-May 6, will be the first under new management: Florida sports marketing firm Pro Link Sports. Sobba replaced longtime tournament director Kym Hougham, who stepped down in June.
Fans who come out next week will likely compare the event to their memories of previous Wells Fargo Championships as well as last year's PGA Championship, which gave Charlotte its first taste of a golf major. But organizers are working on a new experience.
"We really don't compare ourselves to the PGA," said Sobba, noting the prominence of the sport's four majors. "But when we talk to our clients they are so ready to have their Wells Fargo Championship back. Based on gate and corporate partnerships and ticket sales, this is one of the best events on the PGA Tour."
The tournament doesn't disclose ticket sales, but the event is expected to draw around 35,000 fans a day or possibly more, Sobba said. The PGA, by comparison, drew more than 40,000 on some days.
"We still have tickets," Sobba said. "We encourage people to continue to buy."
Prices for tickets during tournament play (Thursday through Sunday) range from $55 to $75, depending on the day and type of ticket. For more information go to wellsfargochampionship.com or visit a Dick's Sporting Goods store.
Some of the corporate hospitality venues have already sold out, but spots are still available, including in a new venue near the 18th green, Sobba added.
For those going out to the course next week, here's more on what you need to know:
▪ Transportation: Check the Wells Fargo Championship website for information on shuttle stops. Unlike the PGA, parking is included with the ticket price. There is a shuttle to the course from uptown, and a pick-up/drop-off lot for those who use Uber to get to the course.
▪ Music: The band Blue Dogs will play at Quail Hollow after play ends Saturday. Specialty drinks will also be available in honor of the Kentucky Derby running that day.
▪ New attractions: New features include a William Hill Estate Winery location, a Topgolf experience and a Wells Fargo customer lounge near the first tee. Show your Wells Fargo debit card, credit card or wallet app to enter the Wells Fargo venue and where you can enjoy free water, a private cash bar, TVs, premium viewing and other perks.
▪ Phone policy: The new policy allows fans to text in all areas and take video and photos all week. Fans are asked not to interfere with players, caddies or the media — and keep their devices on silent at all times.
Rick Rothacker: 704-358-5170, @rickrothacker