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Arena Group enjoys Gleneagles Glory

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Mirroring the joy of the victorious Team Europe, Ryder Cup organisers were delighted their visions for hosting the 40th Ryder Cup were widely applauded, with Arena Group expertise central to the transformation of Gleneagles Golf Course with temporary event structures, grandstand seating and interiors, Sept 24-28, 2014.

The 2014 Ryder Cup extended its credentials as a global sporting event, with over 500 million TV viewers, giving exceptional event experiences to fans on course and on screen. Over 200,000 people attended the historic course to be part of the melting pot of golfing skills and emotions, as 24 of the world’s leading players battled each other and the course. Closing moments saw spectators packed into the 18th grandstand along with sponsors in the Aviemore Pavilion creating an ebullient party atmosphere as European captain Paul McGinley lifted the coveted trophy.

Arena Group is proud of its long association with The Ryder Cup organisers, spanning two decades of European tournaments, and understands that meticulous planning and strong project management is the key to delivering a successful, world class event.

Ryder Cup match director, Edward Kitson, explained:

Arena listened, understood, then made positive contributions as we planned and designed infrastructure for The 2014 Ryder Cup. They delivered exceptionally well and the quality of product, from premium hospitality, public and media facilities combined with the best grandstand seating we have ever seen, ensured another best in class performance.

Arena Seating project director, Bradley Merchant, managed a team of 20 though the installation of 14,700 seats across 18 grandstands and constructed using the company’s clearview™ seating system. Attentive to the aesthetic finish, from glass handrails facing the greens and branded skins facing out across the course, multiple configurations of seating wrapped greens and tees to put spectators close to their golfing heroes, all constructed with great care, particularly moving vast amounts of equipment around the sensitive golf course.

The main grandstands were the 1,844 capacity grandstand in a horseshoe configuration around the first tee and the 2,100 capacity looking steeply down onto the 18th green. All of the stands were busy throughout the tournament, including the 1,053 capacity 13th, 714 seats overlooking the 11th and the 648 seats curved around the 16th green.

Arena Structures, led by project director Ron Smith, installed 32 structures around Gleneagles. This included its Arcus curved roof system combined with cantilevered balconies supplied to the Ryder Cup for the first time. Most notably, the 15m x 100m triple deck Aviemore Pavilion overlooking the 18th fairway and green provided unrivalled views for The Ryder Cup partners from their prestigious hospitality onto the action of the final hole, and Team Europe’s emotional celebrations at the presentation of the Ryder Cup.

A range of structures and interiors provided elevated views onto the key areas of the course for hospitality guests; over 1,000 media told their stories to the world from Arena’s 30m x 50m TFS facility, whilst the players, officials, police and caterers were all accommodated within a range of custom designed structures.

Spaceworks provided all of the furniture on site, with over 15,000 pieces ranging from the new pressed steel contemporary Tolix range and stools with cocktail tables through to dining tables garden furniture in public areas, all facilities on site, the park and ride sites and the opening and closing ceremonies.

To achieve the organisers and designers’ aspirations the company invested £200,000 in especially sourced new contemporary collections. Well Dressed Tables also supplied all the cutlery, crockery and glassware to Jamie Oliver’s Fabulous Feasts Managing who catered across the court, with managing director Chris Piggott ensuring the complex logistical deployment was a success.

Grahame Muir, CEO of Arena UK & Europe, stated:

We are hugely proud to have supported the Ryder Cup organisers in delivering a superb tournament on all levels. On course facilities have moved forwards considerably, and it is a credit to our professional construction teams, who have spent a lot of time in Scotland this year, following on from our Glasgow Commonwealth Games success, to achieve these standards; safely and on schedule. I have received numerous positive comments regarding our performance at Gleneagles which I believe has firmly set a new standard in sports event infrastructure.

Ron Smith

Arena Structure’s project director, Ron Smith, at The 2014 Ryder Cup.

GL events Seating and Stadia claimed pole position at inaugural Russian F1 Grand Prix

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GL events Seating and Stadia installed the grandstand seating along the Sochi circuit to ensure spectators had the perfect view of all the motorsport action at the inaugural Russian Grand Prix.


Held in Sochi on 12th October, this was the country’s first F1 Grand Prix in more than a century with the circuit being built around the Sochi Olympic Park coastal region. The circuit constructors purchased five raised grandstands offering 30,000 seats, all with fantastic sight lines of the track, from GL events Seating & Stadia.


At 5.9km (3.7miles) long, the Sochi circuit is the third-longest circuit on the F1 calendar, behind Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium and Silverstone in Great Britain. The grandstand seating is positioned at key turns within the circuit, including the first corner, which often sees the biggest battle as drivers push for that early lead.


The circuit, which runs in a clockwise direction, consists of 12 right and six left-hand corners, and combines both high-speed and technical sections. The F1 cars reached a maximum speed of 320km/h on the 650m straight between the first and second turns, with an average lap speed of around 215km/h.


Chris Mansell, Operations Director for GL events Seating & Stadia, said prior to the race:

With grandstands also positioned at turns two, four, five and six, spectators won’t miss any of the action as the sight lines around the circuit are excellent. If the race is as good as the view, it will be one hell of a race!


The grandstands are fitted with the C View Plus Seating System, developed by GL events Seating & Stadia for the London 2012 Olympics, with three of the five stands furnished with disabled platforms.


Hermann Tilke, the renowned circuit architect who designed the track, also commented prior to the race:

The circuit is going to be very fast and technical and offers a number of interesting features. It is a fantastic facility with a great atmosphere and it will be outstanding, as the circuits run through the Olympic Park.


GL events Seating and Stadia is part of GL events UK that supplies marquees, temporary structures, tiered seating and semi-permanent buildings for every application. With an extensive product range and over 300 years combined experience, GL events UK can offer a specialist solution for every event and commercial requirement. For more information, visit

Top image: Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Sunday 12 October 2014. Felipe Massa, Williams FW36 Mercedes. Photo: Glenn Dunbar/Williams F1. ref: Digital Image _W2Q3493

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Hayward MD of GL Events UK

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Scott Hayward is the new Managing Director GL Events’ three UK divisions. He was already MD of Slick Seating but will now also lead its sister companies, Owen Brown and Snowdens.

Hayward managed the company’s delivery and installation of around 130,000 tiered seats at 14 venues at last year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games. Owen Brown and Snowdens supplied around 166,000sqm of temporary structures as part of the GL events consortium.