GL events UK and The R&A have signed a five-year contract extension to further their longstanding, successful partnership, until 2026. Having previously delivered two consecutive four-year contracts, working on a variety of challenging courses, this extension ensures that GL events UK will remain the temporary seating infrastructure supplier for The Open Championship; the major golf tournament that is widely regarded as the most prestigious in professional golf.
The R&A is one of GL events UK’s most well-known international golfing clients, and is the organisation that hosts the perennial Open Championship, a competition that features the best players from around the world, as they do battle for the famous Claret Jug. Before The R&A became involved in the organisation of The Open, the 1st Championship was held at Prestwick in 1860, making it one of the oldest golf tournaments in the world.
With this new agreement, GL events UK will provide spectator grandstands, public observation infrastructure, player bridges and visitor facilities throughout the next five tournaments, which will encompass the 150th at St Andrews, 151st at Royal Liverpool, 152nd at Royal Troon, 153rd at Royal Portrush and the 154th, where the venue is yet to be confirmed.
“As one of golf’s premier events, GL events UK is delighted to remain the temporary seating infrastructure supplier to The Open Championship,” said Chris Mansell, Director & General Manager of GL events UK’s Seating & Stadia divisions. “We have been proud partners of The R&A for 8 years, providing expertise and operational support to deliver their vision for The Open. We firmly believe that our extended contract will provide the foundation for progressive development and innovation for many future golf tournaments.”
Since the start of the partnership back in 2013 at Muirfield, GL events UK has continued to strengthen their long-term commitment to The R&A. Over the years, GL events UK has gained knowledge to overcome the challenging topography of various courses, including heritage and greenfield sites, to incorporate the grandstands with minimal impact to the surrounding landscapes.
Rhodri Price, Director of Championship Operations at The R&A advised, “Working with a client that comprehends the prestige of The Open Championship is invaluable and a core reason behind the renewal of this contract. GL events UK’s historic understanding of The Open provides assurances that the 150th anniversary will be one for the ages. Their temporary seating and associated infrastructure will help bring The Old Course to life, ahead of what will be an unforgettable week of golf!”
Looking forward, GL events UK aims to identify new opportunities to develop ideas and innovations for grandstands and features to improve and amplify the entertainment experience for both players, and spectators.
Having previously worked on the 144th Open at St Andrews, this year, GL events UK returns to the historic Links environment of The Old Course, to play a crucial part in delivering The 150th Open. To commemorate this significant milestone, GL events UK will construct 20 spectator structures through a combination of tiered grandstands, audience viewing infrastructure, players’ bridges, and iconic yellow leader board support towers. The total capacity of the infrastructure supplied by GL events UK will accommodate more than 17,000 spectators, in what will be an historic golfing spectacle.
Scott Jameson, CEO of GL events UK commented, “To kick off our new contract with The R&A at the home of golf is a genuine honour. Having worked in partnership for the best part of a decade, our team bring a wealth of knowledge and experience that will further enhance this landmark anniversary, and we’re thrilled that The R&A have entrusted GL events UK to continue implementing exciting spectator innovations across the next five Open Championships.”