Members of the public had the opportunity to get up close and personal with one of the world’s most recognisable sporting trophies when the Ryder Cup visited Glasgow today (Thursday, September 11).
Local school kids and budding golfers Mairtin McAleer (10) and Nadia Hughes (11) from St Thomas’ Primary in Riddrie were among the first to have their picture taken with the iconic trophy in the city’s Merchant Square alongside Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau; Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland and Gary Taggart, Glasgow Life’s Golf Development Officer.
With the Official Ryder Cup Trophy Tour ending at Gleneagles yesterday (Wednesday), the activity at Merchant Square this afternoon marked one of the last opportunities for the public to see the trophy before the Ryder Cup begins in earnest.
An official Ryder Cup fan zone will be set up in Merchant Square later this month to encourage golf fans to make the most of the event as Glasgow extends a warm welcome to Ryder Cup visitors.
One of the most anticipated events in the sporting calendar, The 2014 Ryder Cup returns to Scotland this year for the first time in more than 40 years and Glasgow will host the tournament’s curtain-raising Gala Concert at the SSE Hydro on Wednesday, September 24.
Thousands of Ryder Cup ticket holders will stay in the city during the week of the tournament, which takes place at Gleneagles from September 23-28.
Nearly 7,000 hotel room nights have been booked in the city during the event, which Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB) believes will inject more than £1 million into the city’s economy; providing a welcome boost to the city’s hotels, restaurants, shops, bars and other businesses.
GCMB, in partnership with Ryder Cup Europe and VisitScotland, will host the official fan zone in Merchant Square from Friday to Sunday, September 26-28. A city guide is also being produced to be handed out to ticket holders highlighting what’s on offer in Glasgow.
The official fan zone will feature live coverage of the tournament shown on a big screen alongside an interactive golf zone.
It will be family focused during the day with golfers and beginners of all ages able to test their skills in the Gleneagles golf simulator, get tips from an on-site golf professional and practice putting on a specially laid green. There will also be a photo-booth for fans to take pictures and share their support on social media for Team Europe or Team USA.
In the evening, Merchant Square’s bars and restaurants will provide a fun and welcoming party atmosphere for golf fans returning from Gleneagles. Visitors and residents can enjoy DJ entertainment and live music performances from Federation of the Disco Pimp, One Night Wonders and The Reel Time Ceilidh Band over the three nights.
Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau said:
“Building on the success of the best-ever Commonwealth Games, this year’s Ryder Cup gives Glasgow another opportunity to showcase the fantastic welcome that it extends to its visitors.
“The city will again be in the spotlight as we prepare for an influx of golf fans from across the world and we know that, alongside the golf, those visitors will be looking to make the most of their time in the city and experience much of what we have to offer.
“Hosting the Ryder Cup Trophy today allowed local fans to get up close with one of the world’s most iconic sporting trophies and it’s the perfect platform from which to really kick-start the city’s countdown to supporting golf’s most prestigious tournament.
“As well as delivering the Gala Concert, our official fan zone in Merchant Square will provide a focal point for visiting golf fans and Glasgow residents to watch live coverage of the tournament, try out the interactive golf zone and enjoy welcoming evening entertainment. The 18th hole may be at Gleneagles, but the 19th hole will definitely be in Glasgow.”
Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, lead agency delivering Scotland’s Ryder Cup commitments, said:
“The official fan zone at Merchant Square will be the place to be in Glasgow during The Ryder Cup and having the trophy in the city today has helped stoke that excitement and provided a sneak preview of what the people of Glasgow can expect in two weeks’ time.
“Thousands of ticket holders and media will be staying in Glasgow during the week, and the fan zone will provide that all important warm Scottish welcome. From live coverage of one of the world’s biggest sporting events to photo booths, putting greens and a golf simulator, the buzz of the fan zone will reflect the excitement felt right across Scotland as we prepare to host the best ever Ryder Cup.
“With The Ryder Cup Gala Concert set to take place on Wednesday, September 24 at The SSE Hydro, it’s certainly shaping up to be a very exciting week for Scotland.”
Richard Hills, Europe’s Ryder Cup Director said:
“The 2014 Ryder Cup promises to be a magnificent festival of sporting excellence. It attracts a huge TV audience around the world who will all see the delights Scotland has to offer. It’s great that golf fans, youngsters and families will be able to get caught up in the magic of The Ryder Cup through the Glasgow fan zone.”
Jennifer Morrison, Operations Manager for Merchant Square said:
“We’re delighted to be welcoming visiting golf fans to Merchant Square for the official fan zone for the Ryder Cup in Glasgow. We’re anticipating a real buzz in the Square as our visitors, and also residents enjoy the great atmosphere.”
For more information, contact:
Marketing Communications Manager - Corporate & Digital
Glasgow City Marketing Bureau
0141 566 0858 / 07703 731 877
Golf PR Manager (2014 Ryder Cup)
VisitScotland / EventScotland
0131 472 2063 / 07794 046295
Notes to Editors:
- Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
- VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
- The organisation has three key roles:
- To market Scotland to all parts of the world to attract visitors
- To provide information – and inspiration – to visitors and potential visitors so they get the best out of a visit to Scotland
- To provide quality assurance to visitors and quality advice to the industry and partners to help the industry meet and strive to exceed customer expectations
- VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
- The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
- 2014 is the year Scotland welcomes the world, when it hosts the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and more than 800 Homecoming events throughout the country.For more information on Homecoming Scotland 2014, go to www.visitscotland.com
- The VisitScotland Information Centre network is a unique face-to-face channel engaging with around five million visitors and locals each year. Everyone who uses a VisitScotland Information Centre goes on to spend an additional £5.35, generating over £24 million for Scotland’s economy.
- According to a recent Deloitte study, tourism employs 270,000 people in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the industry contributes £11 billion annually (direct and indirect impact, including day visits) and supports around 10 per cent of employment in Scotland. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.
- Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
- For holiday information on Scotland go to www.visitscotland.com
- For information about business tourism in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com
- For more information on VisitScotland’s annual review please go to www.visitscotland.org/about_us/our_focus/annual_report.aspx