GL events UK has partnered with The R&A in the production of The Open tournament, golf’s oldest and most international major championship, for five years, and recently extended its contract to deliver spectator seating, players’ bridges, visitor facilities and audience viewing infrastructure across the event for the next four years, until 2020.

The R&A is among of GL events UK’s most prestigious global golfing clients, alongside the Ryder Cup and European Tour; while The Open is its among its largest tiered seating and spectator grandstand clients, with specially manufactured, bespoke kit retained and used exclusively across The R&A’s events.

Throughout the years, there have been many opportunities to innovate, and GL events has been pleased and proud to rise to the challenge! Partnership milestones have included:

  • Incorporation of the R&A’s claret jug logo into temporary tiered seating grandstands
  • Support of the R&A’s rebrand in 2015, replacing green products with new infrastructure, manufactured in the R&A’s new royal blue
  • Horse-shoe ‘wraparound’ layout introduced at Royal Liverpool Hoylake, and encircling the 1st and 18th greens
  • Under-grandstand facilities including toilets
  • A first in the history of the Open – erection of steel structure to create a grandstand above and around the club shop at St Andrews
  • Players bridges, bringing spectators closer to players
  • Integrated accessable viewing platforms and standing spectator platforms, use which platforms has quadrupled for this year’s event
  • Integration of WiFi beacons to boost media interactivity for spectators
  • Improved sight-lines and higher seating grandstands

For The 146th Open at Royal Birkdale, GL events installed a total of 24 individual spectator grandstands. These consisted of a combination of 12,000 tiered seats, standing viewing platforms for more than 2,000 spectators, and accessible platforms, complete with ramps, for wheelchair users. These tailor-made grandstands were designed in a range of innovative and bespoke configurations, delivering greater comfort, increased space and improved sight-lines for spectators; while creating arenas and individual grandstands to compliment and integrate into the landscape and contours of the course.

The project included GL events UK’s creation of a 1,000-seat wraparound amphitheatre at the par 3 14th hole; as well as the 18th grandstand arena, where thousands of fans will watch the drama unfold on the closing hole, while seated under the iconic yellow leader-boards. Around the course, three towering players’ bridges will allow fans greater access to competitors.

Following The 146th Open at Royal Birkdale, GL events will support The Open Championship’s historic returns to Carnoustie, Royal Portrush, and Royal St George’s.