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The John Deere Classic has never released attendance figures or concession stand numbers. Instead, proof of the local PGA Tour stop’s success is measured annually by the lone metric that matters: the fundraising dollars generated for the Birdies for Charity program by the golf tournament. While the 2023 total is months away from becoming public, JDC tournament director Andrew Lehman expects last year’s record-breaking $13.9 million mark to be shattered after arguably the best week in the event’s 52-year history in early July. “I’ve been around for 17 of these now – and the bar has always been 2015, which was special for a lot of reasons,” Mr. Lehman said, pointing to a Pro-Am appearance by comedy film legend Bill Murray mixed with rising star Jordan Spieth’s second JDC victory during his historic pursuit of golf’s Grand Slam. “But by every account, we are going to blow 2015 out of the water. It’s not even close from an attendance standpoint for the week. And sure, a cheeseburger doesn’t cost what it did in 2015, but that alone doesn’t explain why our concession numbers for the week are more than double 2015. And I knew on Sunday (during the final round) we were in trouble with parking – the lots were busting at the seams at about noon – which is how it was in 2015 as well – but then even more people started to show up.” The late-arriving crowd was appearing for the post-round performance of country music star Blake Shelton at the 18th green. Fellow Grammy Award-winner Darius Rucker was the musical act the night before. Part of the JDC’s first-ever “Concerts on the Course” series, both shows were smash hits. JDC grounds passes, which were required to see the shows, were sold out before the weekend. “People have estimated – and it’s probably pretty close to accurate – 8,000 for the concert on Saturday and probably close to 11,000 on Sunday,” Mr. Lehman said. “We were at capacity on Sunday. Saturday felt like a more manageable number. We had people off property on Saturday in an hour. It took us an hour and 40 minutes to bus people to their off-course parking lots on Sunday night because we probably had an additional 3,000 people there.”