The Scottsdale Polo Party is no different than countless sporting competitions and leagues trying to figure out how, or if, we should proceed with our event in November. That’s why we are coming to you now. We need your feedback on the various options before us. And we want to provide some insight into our thinking to help formulate your thoughts. Thank you in advance for taking the time.
First, the likelihood that we return on November 14th-15th in the form we have in the past is close to zero. We are saddened by this as it is our 10th Anniversary and had an extraordinary experience in store. But healthcare precautions must be at the forefront of any event structure, and we need to be sensitive to marketplace and business considerations too.
For example, will people return to events like ours this year? Major League Baseball is contemplating games without fans. College football is now talking about delaying its season until next Spring.
And from a business standpoint it would be unwise to expend the significant amount of money we do to put up and put on the event only to have the government prohibit it if the virus returns uncontrolled in the fall.
Finally, there are the business dynamics of our sponsors and whether they should be given a pass on this year both out of respect for their own challenging dynamics as well as our appreciation for everything they have contributed in the past.
So that leads us to two options as we see them. If you believe there are others please suggest!
1) Skip 2020 altogether, as Wimbledon is doing, and come back hopefully and robustly in 2021 (but perhaps even as late as 2022) depending on health and business dynamics.
2) Putting on a polo event is quite different than other sports. People are not crammed into indoor seating. We are outdoors and our field of play is more than two times a football field. So we have an ability to “socially distance” in some interesting, compelling ways. Here is one option under consideration. We make tailgating more available. It is always the first category to sell out. Spaces already are 8 feet apart. To this we could add General Admission seating in bleachers with separation and then sell field-side tables of 8, properly separated too. General Admission could also involve picnicking, allowing people to bring in tables, chairs and their own personal tents for designated areas. The entire event would be open air. No large tents. But umbrellas would be provided for reserved tables. We would likely rename the event as it would not be a true Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships but it could still be a very fun, elegant and cool way to spend a Saturday.
We typically put tickets on sale in June but with all of the additional considerations we could push this to September 1st or October 1st as we monitor the situation. If you have questions or suggestions please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for all you have done in the past, and your comments now, to help our event be all it can be, and should. These are extraordinary times so we appreciate you taking the time to help guide our decision-making.
The Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships: Presented by Talking Stick Resort