Royal St George's looks set to welcome 30,000 fans a day for The Open in July, at 75% capacity.
The R&A “Optimistic” 30,000 Spectators Can Attend The Open
The R&A Chief Executive Martin Slumbers has offered an update on spectators attending The Open at Royal St George’s in July.
Royal St George’s in Kent has the capacity to host 40,000 fans a day, but Slumbers has suggested that operating with a 75 per cent capacity is possible for the British Major.
“The one thing I am clear about is we will play The Open at St George’s,” said Martin Slumbers.
“Uncertainty is about what the environment we will operate in will be.
“We are optimistic for a significant attendance of up to 75% of capacity.
“While we would really like to provide certainty to everybody on how The Open will work, inevitably there remains great uncertainty.
“We’ve been working very closely with the UK government and Public Health [England] to understand what we can do and what we can’t do.
“There are multiple plans and multiple options.”
Slumbers confirmed that The R&A is working with different plans in mind for spectators due to the potential for government guidelines change, though he is confident that fans will be allowed into Royal St George’s in some capacity.
He also stated: “The players will be in a bubble with officials and the championship staff and they will be kept separate and away from whatever crowds we’re allowed to have.”
The Open was the only men’s Major cancelled last year due to the pandemic, meaning Royal St George’s has had to wait an extra year to host its 14th Open Championship, the 149th iteration of the tournament.
Shane Lowry is the defending champion of The Open, having won his maiden Major at Royal Portrush in 2019.
He enters the 2021 tournament in competitive form after finishing T4 at the PGA Championship, though he hasn’t won an event since his victory in the Major two years ago.