PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- With another record-setting turnout expected this weekend at The Players, staff are working to ensure traffic and parking are not problems for those attending.
The tournament at TPC Sawgrass is a family tradition for the Meeks of St. Augustine. They always count on beautiful scenery and sprawling greenery. But they say, there's a price to pay for the breathtaking views.
"Parking is kind of bad," said Meeks. "This year wasn't that bad but probably not as good as it could be."
TPC Sawgrass property can hold an estimated 14,000 cars in the primary parking lot.
Action News obtained a bird's-eye view of that lot, and the picture proves the parking lot is always packed.
Tournament chairman, Robert Davis, predicts record attendance this weekend. Action News asked if there's enough spaces for everyone coming to the big show.
"We believe so, especially if people take the car pooling," said Davis.
This year, The Players' is offering free parking to any car with at least four passengers and more than 2,000 people already redeemed the pass for Saturday.
That means 8,000 people will attend Saturday and only take a fourth of the parking spaces.
But getting to the tournament is also a concern for many attending The Players.
As law enforcement keeps cars flowing near TPC Sawgrass, Ryan Crist acts as a quarterback. He coordinates traffic control from a high-tech center nearly 30 miles away.
"An informed motorist is going to be able to make smart decisions on what they're doing if they are aware of what lies ahead," said Crist.
Crist studies traffic patterns like a playbook. That's why officials with The Players tapped his team for help this year.
There's a new tool in FDOT's arsenal. The traffic control center in Jacksonville has a plane in flight monitoring traffic patterns from the sky. For DOT traffic information updates, people can call 511.
"As traffic gets built up in one area we have release valves where we can now looking at the slope from the sky," said Davis.