Polo Championships breaks records at WestWorld of Scottsdale

Members of the Seattle Polo Club and Arizona Polo Club compete during the Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships. (Independent Newsmedia/Josh Martinez)

The Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships wrapped up Sunday, Nov. 12 at WestWorld of Scottsdale and has broken some records in the process.

Over the two days of the event, 13,129 people attended the event which is a new record, according to a press release. The event also reported a record number of vendors at the event in a release.

Along with these records, the event saw sold out tents and tickets as well as about a 70 percent increase in ticketing and food and beverage revenue from 2016, a release states.

The Polo Championships also saw some changes from previous years, including the 50 percent expansion of the field-side Bottled Blonde Polo Lounge.

Another change was the dubut of Fried & Fizzy, which is a pop-up restaurant that features the culinary combination of fired chicken and champagne, according to a release. The restaurant saw big enough sales that it will expand past the event.

Some of the first for the event included Southwest Shakespeare Company, Phoenix Opera, hip-hop artist Ali Tomineek and Red Bull skydivers all performing.

There was also World Arm Wrestling Champion Travis Bagent who took on challengers includers visitors, local and nationl elected officials, business leaders and celebrities such as Daytona 500 Champion Kurt Busch.

This year also marked the first time American polo player Mike Azzaro, played at WestWorld. He was part of the winning Barrett-Jackson Aspen Valley Polo Team, along with Melissa Ganzi and Ashley Busch, that captured the event’s signature Molina Cup for the third consecutive year.

They defeated the first time visitors, the Monte-Carlo Polo Team sponsored by Bentley Scottdale, 11-8.

Other matches Saturday and Sunday also saw Evan’s Furs’ Polo Azteca prevailing in a Saturday match against Northwestern Mutual’s Santa Barbara team 8-5. Then Talking Stick Resort & Casino’s Arizona Polo Club defeated Molina Fine Jewelers’ Seattle Polo Club 7-3.

Saturday concluded with SOHO Scottsdale beating Stick & Ball in the Women’s Sunset Match.

On Sunday, the ladies representing Talking Stick Resort & Casino’s team proved to be victorious in the Battle of the Sexes match, honoring the late Sunny Hale, beating Scottsdale Maserati men’s team 6-5. The day concluded with Stella Artois’ St. Moritz Polo Team defeating Bentley Scottsdale’s Clogau Wales Polo Team 7-6.

“Whether it’s the next Phoenix Open as one of our guests called it this weekend, or ‘the best polo event in the world,’ as the Captain of the Wales Polo Team does, there’s no doubt that this year was a record one for the Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships, and the moment that saw the event truly become a spectacle like few others,” The Polo Party’s Co-Founder Jason Rose said in a prepared statement.

Mr. Rose said the credit of the event’s success falls with many contributing people and companies.

“it couldn’t have happened without the blue-chip roster of sponsors, partners and guests that make it all possible,” he said in a prepared statement. “We’re grateful. We’re appreciative. And we’re very fortunate to be in their very good company.”

In its fourth year as title sponsor Bentley Scottsdale said it’s been a great partnership and platform as the event has grown in size and ambition.

“Bentley and polo go together and we see so many of our clients coming here year after year,” Bentley Scottsdale General Manager Beli Merdovic said in a prepared statement.

“We also like to show the audience the latest and greatest Bentley models available like the Bentley Bentayga, the fastest SUV on the market that hit this year. The Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships is growing every year and is getting better as well. It’s fun for sure and many clients are already asking us to send them invitations for next year’s event,”

The event will be returning on the same weekend in 2018 and the goal, according to Rose, “is to become the biggest polo event in the world, one day surpassing the crowds even in Buenos Aires.”

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