The Open set for record-breaking crowds at St Andrews

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The 150th Open at St Andrews is expected to be the largest in the Championship’s history. George Cooper has the details

The 150th Open is going to be biggest ever. The oldest major, staged this year at the Home of Golf in St Andrews, will be the largest in the Championship’s history and will provide a forecasted £200 million boon to the Fife and Scottish economy.

More than 1.3 million fans applied for tickets in a ballot and 290,000 spectators are expected to cram into the Old Course between July 10 and 17.

That’s an attendance that will smash the previous record of 239,000, set at St Andrews in 2000 when Tiger Woods claimed his first Claret Jug.

“The 150th Open at St Andrews is going to be a momentous occasion for golf and this is clearly reflected in the extraordinary demand among fans,” said R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers.

“We very much appreciate their passion and enthusiasm for The Open and are delighted that we will set a new attendance record that far exceeds the previous best set in 2000.”

The R&A has also continued its commitment to making The Open more accessible for the young generation of golf fans, allocating 20 per cent of tickets to under-25s, including 20,000 free tickets for under-16s.

With such a historic turn-out set to descend, the R&A says it has been working closely with the Scottish Government and its health advisors to ensure maximum safety for the masses of spectators.

That huge overall attendance will see 80,000 spectators attend the four practice days at St Andrews, beating the previous number of 61,000 at Royal Portrush in 2019, while changes have been made to the course, including the creation of spectator mounds and cutting back some gorse.

There will also be additional spectator seating in various grandstands dotted around the course, with a total capacity of more than 17,500, including 3,500 at the loop from the 7th to 11th.

The Open attendance records

239,000 (St Andrews, 2000)
237,750 (Royal Portrush, 2019)
237,000 (St Andrews, 2015)
235,000 (Royal Birkdale, 2017)

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