SCOTLAND DRIVES AHEAD AS IMPACT OF OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP IS ANNOUNCED

The Open

For Immediate Publication

SCOTLAND DRIVES AHEAD AS IMPACT OF OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP IS ANNOUNCED

2010 study shows a £100m benefit to Scotland

15 March 2011, St Andrews, Scotland:Open Championship organiser, The R&A and EventScotland today announced that the 150th Anniversary Open Championship staged in St Andrews, last year, delivered a combined £100 million benefit to Scotland.

The figure exceeds an £80 million forecast by researchers from the Sport Industry Research Centre (SIRC) at Sheffield Hallam University revealed by First Minister, Alex Salmond visiting the Championship last July.

The headline number includes a Scotland-wide economic impact of £47.4 million and a destination marketing benefit of £52.6 million calculated from global television coverage presenting Scotland as the ‘The Home of Golf’.

The independent research study, commissioned jointly by The R&A and EventScotland, found that most of the economic impact was focussed on St Andrews and the Fife Council area, with £40.1 million income entering the local economy directly attributable to The Open.

Commenting on the research outcome, The R&A Chief Executive, Peter Dawson said, “The Open averages six appearances in Scotland in a ten year cycle and we are delighted that the only Major Championship staged outside the United States delivers such a powerful legacy to the country recognised, the world over, as the Home of Golf”.

Reviewing the findings, Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said, “Today’s results are wonderful news for both Fife and Scotland.

“The Open in 2010 was a spectacle for everyone who attended and the figures show the undisputed benefit to Scotland of regularly hosting one of the most prestigious sporting events in the world.”

The 2010 study was based on 3,000 interviews conducted by the SIRC team, including players, spectators, sponsors, event staff, organisers and the media with overseas visitors to The Open from 43 countries identified by the research. Compared with findings from research carried out at The Open at St Andrews in 2005 the overall economic benefit of staging the event has grown by more than 25% in five years.

Following on from this news, it was also announced today that Scotland’s key partners have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in relation to the staging of The Open in Scotland.

The MOU has been formed between R&A Championships Limited, the Local Authorities in Fife, Angus, East Lothian and South Ayrshire, along with EventScotland and VisitScotland. Its purpose