Sam Boyd Stadium once again played host to the Supercross Monster Energy Cup, selling out the 36,800-seat venue Saturday night. Across the valley at TPC Summerlin, the PGA Tour made its annual stop here for the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, held Thursday through Sunday, with modest crowds the first three days before a much better turnout Sunday.
Consider: Supercross packs the stadium despite its terrible traffic jams, yet the state’s biggest professional golf tournament — a FedEx Cup event with a purse of $6 million and a very strong field — has trouble attracting fans, even with easier access. Park at the Suncoast, hop on a shuttle bus, and five minutes later, you can be watching golf. Catch the five-minute shuttle back to the Suncoast, walk back to your car, and two minutes later you can be on Summerlin Parkway and home free, especially in daytime weekend traffic.
Supercross has become one of the biggest sports events in the state. Visitors come from everywhere to watch the best dirt-bikers on the planet. The golf tournament, on the other hand, is far more dependent on local support, which it deserves — it’s the only PGA Tour event run by a nonprofit, and for a noble cause.
Besides the stellar fall weather, the golf tournament provided other fan-friendly amenities, such as a new spectator viewing platform on the drivable, par-4 15th hole. One rowdy group of fans was exchanging money left and right Sunday, betting on whose 300-plus-yard tee shots would hold the green. The tournament reflects well on Las Vegas worldwide — there were eight Japanese media outlets on hand.
Tournament director Adam Sperling has shown that he wants this event here. The question is, do Las Vegans?