R&A given ok for 32,000 daily fans at Open
The news could not have been brighter for the R&A with confirmation 32,000 spectators a day will be allowed to attend the 149th Open Championship at Royal St. George’s.
Of course, last year’s hosting of golf’s oldest major was cancelled due the worldwide pandemic while news of the rescheduling to this year has been draped in uncertainty.
Shane Lowry celebrates with the Open trophy (Credit: PGA Tour)
We were informed earlier this year The Open would be going ahead from 15th to 18th July, 2021 but what we didn’t know if spectators would be allowed.
A month ago, R&A CEO Martin Slumbers hosted a Zoom conference for the media and declared ‘yes’ there would be spectators but he was unaware whether there would be a 25% attendance each day or a generous at a best case scenario of 75%.
Well the news is great for R&A and those looking to be present at Royal St. George’s with the UK government advising the R&A approval for 75% capacity and that means welcoming 32,000 spectators a day.
It could not have been brighter for Slumbers in gaining approval for what he admitted a month ago would be a ‘best case scenario’.
It will mean the biggest gathering of golf fans in the UK or Europe since Ireland’s Shane Lowry won the 148th Open Championship at Royal Portrush.
Slumbers reacted to the good news by issuing the following statement to the media:
“We are pleased to now be able to proceed with our plans for having a significant attendance at this year’s championship,” Martin Slumbers, the chief executive of the R&A, said in a statement.
“These fans will play a huge role in creating a very special atmosphere as the world’s best players compete for the Claret Jug and we look forward to welcoming them to Royal St George’s.
“I would like to acknowledge the support and understanding we have received from the government and public health authorities, fans, players, our patrons and partners, as we have worked through this extremely challenging process.”
However, it not all plain sailing as we know all 32,000 spectators making their way each day at Royal St. George’s must wear face masks.