Royal Portrush will host the 2025 Open Championship
. That'll be the second time in six years and all the other courses on the Open rota must be shaking their heads and fists at the R&A.
Why have they chosen to return to Portrush so quickly?
There are a load of reasons but obviously chief among them is money. The 148th Open put £45 million into the Northern Irish economy. Ads raised another £37.3 million and another £23.7 million was made in media coverage. Around £100 million all told.
Those working, for years, to bring the Open to Portrush to 2019 had to move heaven and hell to prove to the R&A and stakeholders that it could work logistically and financially. From the course to the town to the entire region, a huge amount of infrastructural work had to be done and no stone was left unturned in ensuring the tournament ran like clockwork. To have all that work done, and those systems put in place, and then only used only once in possibly 10 or 15 years was simply unthinkable.
For the R&A themselves and their brand the 2019 Open at Portrush was a triumph. Martin Slumbers and co were lauded for somehow coming up with an operation in a small town which achieved, without incident, a record attendance for the Championship outside of St Andrews of 237,750 fans throughout the week.
In the USA Shane Lowry‘s win was actually the lowest rated and least-watched final round of the tournament since 2015. But that had little or nothing to do with Portrush. It was because Tiger Woods played and missed the cut at the 2019 Open. Statistically in the USA the difference between Tiger finishing in the top ten and missing the cut is around four-in-ten TV viewers.
The reality in the USA is that there is huge goodwill among the population towards Ireland compared to England and to a lesser extent Scotland. The United States has a huge Irish emigrant population, and whether they watched it live or not, Shane Lowry and Portrush became household names across the Atlantic. Globally the reach was estimated in the hundreds of millions. Having more of that was a no brainer.
Politics and lobbyists also play a role bigger than I can describe but I'll tell you what else was a HUGE factor in the Open returning to Portrush so quickly……everyone enjoyed it. From players to fans to contractors to the VIP's, everyone simply had a great time. You cannot put a price on happiness.
Roll on 2025!
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Title: Why The Open Will Return So Quickly To Portrush in 2025
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Published Date: Thu, 09 Sep 2021 09:14:00 +0000