The timing could not have been more perfect coming days after the victory of Shane Lowry at the 148th Open Championship staged on Irish soil for the first time since 1951.
For those who believe in the power of history to guide and inform us it will be of interest to record that JP McManus, the driving force behind bringing the Ryder Cup back to Ireland was three months old when the first Open Championship in Ireland was staged back in 1951.
He bought Adare Manor back in 2015 and from that moment was intent on securing the Ryder Cup. The course has been remodelled specifically toward hosting golf with a stadium feel and the staging next year of the 3rd JP McManus Pro-Am will put it through its paces with many of the world’s biggest stars coming to play.
A report for Government by Fáilte Ireland placed the value of the tournament to Limerick and Ireland at somewhere between €90 million and €160 million, making the Government underwriting of an estimated €50 million secured at yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, look like good value.
The upside could be even greater with post-event evaluation of the 2018 staging in Paris estimating the value there of €250 million.
Big numbers for a big tournament with a quarter of a million likely to attend from across Ireland, Europe and the United States in seven years time.
“I am delighted that the prestigious Ryder Cup will return to Ireland,” said McManus. “Noreen and I are very happy that Adare Manor was chosen as the venue for this world-renowned tournament in 2026 and we look forward to welcoming our worldwide visitors.”
“It is a wonderful tribute to the many great Irish golf ambassadors and success stories Ireland has had in golf over the years and a nice follow on from Shane’s momentous Open win on Sunday in Portrush. The nation was behind Shane, it was a great achievement and very well deserved.”
“I am confident that the people of Ireland will get behind The Ryder Cup and take the opportunity to showcase Ireland on the world stage and ensure that the 2026 Ryder Cup will be an outstanding success. I hope the many tourist, golfing and business organisations will work together to identify all the opportunities for the benefit of The Ryder Cup tournament, the Irish economy and across the south-west community.”
This coming together of the different interests that will make the competition the greatest ever staged will be a key factor and Sport for Business will be a strong advocate of collaboration in its various means over the coming years.
Next month we will have an interview with Richard Hills, Director of the Ryder Cup over 24 years on his perspective of Ireland hosting the event. We will also work closely with Sport for Business members, the European Tour to explore partnerships and do what we can to play our part.
The announcement was made yesterday by Ryder Cup Europe, which unveiled its partnership with the Irish Government and described the positive economic outcomes The Ryder Cup will yield by amplifying Ireland’s distinct golf tourism offering.
“Adare Manor is a world-class venue, both in terms of the golf course and the wider resort facilities,” said Guy Kinnings, European Ryder Cup Director. “We could not be happier to be able to take golf’s greatest team contest back to Ireland and are delighted that Adare Manor will be the venue to showcase the next chapter in Ireland’s Ryder Cup story in seven years’ time.”
Adare Manor is already familiar to some of the world’s best players. The 2020 Ryder Cup Captain, Padraig Harrington, was consulted on the design of the golf course, providing player insights to Tom Fazio and his team. To celebrate its re-opening in April 2018, Harrington and Shane Lowry were joined by four-time Major Champion, Rory McIlroy, and former Ryder Cup Captain, Paul McGinley, for a charity exhibition match.
“We could not be more honoured to be successful in bringing the Ryder Cup back to Ireland and to Adare Manor. Today’s announcement is extremely humbling for all of us and my heartfelt thanks and gratitude go out to all of those who have played their part in the Adare Manor story so far.”
Government backing is always key to staging major international events and was so in securing next year’s four games in the Euro 2020 Championship.
Discussions began in earnest with Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross at last year’s Ryder Cup in Paris and the final details were sealed during the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Lahinch earlier this month.
The final approval was confirmed ay yesterday’s Cabinet meeting in Donegal.
“We last hosted the event in the K Club in Co Kildare in 2006 – the one occasion the prestigious event has been held in Ireland. Its return in 2026 will generate enormous focus on Ireland and the golfing and tourist attractions we have on offer,” said Minister Ross.
“The event has a large international profile with a potential to be broadcast to 375 million homes, 5,000 hours of broadcasting on 50 different channels. 2,000 journalists will attend and thousands of articles about the Ryder Cup were published in 2018 alone. There would also be an estimated promotional value for Ireland of hosting the event of around €100m.”
“The event continues to grow and the Ryder Cup in Paris last year attracted 270,000 spectators from 90 countries. This generated 220,000 commercial bed nights. The global reach of the 2018 Ryder Cup also witnessed a significant increase in social media engagement, with more than 22 billion global impressions across the week, while broadcast viewing figures were also up compared to the 2014 contest at Gleneagles.”
“It’s been a fantastic week for golf in Ireland following Shane Lowry’s heroic win in Portrush,” added Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Brendan Griffin.
“The announcement of the Ryder Cup for Ireland in 2026 is further great news and is a wonderful honour for of all of us in Ireland, North and South. It’s a special honour for the people of Munster, a province steeped in sporting culture, where this marvellous global event will be embraced by the people to make 2026 the greatest ever tournament in the history of the Ryder Cup.”
The state investment will come in the provision of services including policing and transport as well as the marketing of the event. Adare Manor will bear the cost of preparing the course.
To get a sense of the importance of the tournament within the sport, here is the video that the European tour prepared for the team on the eve of last year’s event. Stirring stuff.
Read More: The Business of the Open Championship
Read More: Celebrating Shane