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East Wintergarden hosts temporary squash venue

An event space in the City of London has been transformed into a sporting auditorium to host an international squash tournament.

The Citigold Wealth Management Squash Classic ran from 10-15 March at East Wintergarden in Canary Wharf, and saw the world’s best eight male professional players to battle to the best of-five final as part of the PSA World Tour.

Joanne Taylor, Venue Manager, and the in-house events team at East Wintergarden oversaw the transformation of the blank canvas space into a world-class sporting auditorium, working with all the production suppliers to ensure a seamless set-up.

The Main Hall played host to the glass squash court itself flanked with two tiered grandstands and player facilities. Behind this stood merchandising exhibition stands for DunlopHEAD and Salming who were all supporting the event.

On the internal mezzanine overlooking the Main Hall were six VIP hospitality tables catered by Create Food with unrivalled views over the sporting action, behind which was a temporary raised platform home to an elevated viewing platform and a VIP bar.

The Promenade Room adjacent to the Main Hall was utilised as the Organiser’s Office, Media Room and provided players with treatment and physio facilities.

Ensuring the loyal squash spectators all enjoyed first-class views of the competition, Arena Seating’s Tony Sainsbury has project managed the temporary grandstand installations for over 15 years. He said:

This year, our installation saw the set-up of 446 upholstered tiered tip-up seats with space left for wheelchair positions on both sides of the court. In order to create the feel of a permanent sporting auditorium in East Wintergarden, we provided fully carpeted isles, individually numbered seats tallying with the agreed ticket manifest and provided grandstand sides draped in black to ensure aesthetic visuals for live TV broadcasting.

We are constantly investing in our tried and tested equipment to ensure we are able to support the event management team by maximising the seated capacity within the venue, always taking into consideration the very latest safety guidelines on access and egress times. Working with Tim Garner at Eventis Sports Marketing, the venue and everyone involved in this longstanding event is a pleasure – an event we look forward to seeing grow year on year.

Suppliers collaboratively worked to ensure the temporary infrastructure was aesthetically adapted for both the players and TV audiences.

The grandstands were draped black, black seats selected and blackout backdrops blocked out the sunshine; all with the sole purpose of supporting the players with clear ease of seeing the small, white squash ball and providing a contrasting visual backdrop for TV broadcasting and making it easier to photograph the action.

Alistage’s managing director, Phil Christodolou said:

East Wintergarden is the ideal home for the tournament, as its mezzanine level offers the perfect platform on which we construct a temporary third tier for VIP hospitality and unrivalled spectator views of the fast-paced action below. We’re very proud to deliver infrastructure within such a prestigious venue and to an event that is a jewel in the crown of the international squash calendar.