Feb 15, 2013 9:23 AM by Samantha Ptashkin
MARANA - Starting bright and early Monday morning 64 of the world's best golfers will be in Southern Arizona for the Accenture Match Play Championship.
But even before all the players and fans arrive, there is a lot of action on the green.
From mowing the grass, to hammering in the tents, crews are out from dusk until dawn taking care of all the nitty gritty details.
"Whether you're ready or not, on Monday morning the gates are going to open, the public is going to come in and the players will be here to play," says Ric Swigert.
Swigert works for a company called Salem Sports, based out of North Carolina. His team of 12 arrived in Arizona a couple weeks ago. They're responsible for putting up all signs you see along the course. "Every single sign related to the golf tournament we produce in our shop back in North Carolina and then transport it out to Arizona on tractor trailer," Swigert says.
Preparations for Match Play 2013 actually started right when Match Play 2012 ended. Crews have been out on the course since December making sure everything is all set to go. "They're finishing the inside of tents, tables and chairs, carpeting," says Gerald Goodman, the tournament's executive director.
He says keeping up the court's appearance is especially important. They bring in an extra 40 people who are solely dedicated to keeping up the plants along the course. "You can turn on your TV, you can be anywhere in the world and see the beautiful sagauro cacti," Goodman says.
Fans will be enjoying the scenic views in person as well. Goodman says ticket sales are up by 19% from last year. "So we're expecting a good crowd next week and the weather looks good, so that always helps too," Goodman says.
The finishing touches will continue through the weekend. "There are things we have to wait to do until Sunday, last minute prep," Goodman says.
But they're already planning for next year.
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