Sporting Events

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The R&A 150th Open

Temporary Fairway grandstand The Open St Andrews 150th, supplied by GL events UK

The Open Championship is one of the most prestigious and oldest golf tournaments in the world dating back to the first event at Prestwick in 1860. This golfing competition showcases the world’s best players competing for the famous Claret Jug.


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Camera platforms

GL events UK has been providing temporary seating infrastructure to The Open Championship since the start of The R&A partnership back in 2013 at Muirfield.

As part of a five-year agreement with The R&A, GL events UK returned to the historic Links environment of The Old Course at St Andrews, to play a crucial part in delivering The 150th Open.

A high-profile event

With such a high-profile tournament, spectator seating was in demand, as were hospitality experiences. Temporary structures were also needed for the players’ lounge and catering facilities. As the event was televised, camera towers were required, alongside leaderboards to allow spectators to keep track of the scores. 

As the temporary spectator structures were positioned on the course, the challenges associated with its unique topography had to be carefully navigated. 

A bespoke solution

Over the years, GL events UK has gained knowledge to overcome the challenging topography of various golf courses, including heritage and greenfield sites. This experience means our project managers create designs that seamlessly integrate temporary seating with minimal impact to the surrounding landscapes.

For the 150th Open at St Andrews, GL events UK constructed 20 spectator structures through a combination of tiered grandstands, temporary structures for standing spectators, player’s bridges, television camera towers and iconic yellow leader board support towers. The overall capacity of the tiered seats was 15,000, with additional audience viewing infrastructure for over 2,000 standing spectators.

To improve visibility of the course and comfort for spectators, the GL events UK team designed the grandstands in bespoke configurations. These included a customised U-shaped grandstand covering the 7th hole and 8th tee featuring reverse splay, rear access staircase and a television camera tower. 

In addition, 39 television camera towers were built to house several cameras to shoot at double greens and varied in height from a levelling platform to 18 metres. Using an innovative design, we integrated the 18th green camera tower into the seating structure, which was built on a bespoke steel structure to span the St. Andrews links trust shop. GL events UK also supplied 2 iconic yellow leaderboard support towers.

GL events UK also constructed a 20m x 45m Double-Deck structure for the players clubhouse, finished with a terrace area and a 10m x 10m Double-Deck kitchen with ancillary tents. The structure included bespoke steps with both tack off and kader fed linings. 

A successful collaboration

The successful collaboration between GL events UK and The R&A meant that over 17,000 spectator positions hospitality areas, camera towers and leaderboards, spanning an area of 1,500 square meters, were installed in time for the event .  

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"GL events UK combines expertise and operational support to meet the requirements of The Open and this year was no different. Their superior temporary infrastructure solutions helped us celebrate this truly historic golf milestone. We look forward to collaborating with GL events UK in many future tournaments."

Rhodri Price

Director of Championship Operations, The R&A

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