The 2013 U.S Open wrapped up last weekend at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, PA. To the millions of fans that watched the event on TV, the severe thunderstorms, dramatic landscape and one-of-a-kind wicker baskets atop the flagsticks will be among the standout memories of this year’s event. What TV didn’t show was the city of 120 mobile offices ModSpace built exclusively for the tournament.
The preparation, delivery and setup of modular facilities required a carefully coordinated team effort. Territory Sales Manager Denis Mangifesta led the effort, working closely with USGA and Merion Golf Club officials and the ModSpace Operations Team.
We pulled Denis, a golfer himself; down from Cloud 9 just long enough to ask him a few questions after the last ball was sunk.
Q: When did you start working on the 2013 U.S. Open?
A: In August 2011. We provided a 24’x40’ permanent building on the Merion Golf Club’s West Course in preparation for the Open. I started calling on the USGA in February 2012. Luckily, they understood the importance of getting a jump on the modular buildings.
Q: How was ModSpace able to lease so many buildings for one event?
A: Great availability. In addition to our branch office in Philadelphia, we have four more offices within a couple hours. The USGA and Merion realized we were up to the task and elected to work exclusively with ModSpace.
Q: What were some of the more interesting or unexpected uses for temporary buildings?
A: It was great to start the day at Ticketing, which was a new 8’x28’ ModSpace building, and later see the players finish their round by signing their cards, again in our buildings.
The most unexpected use though, was the filming of the Michael Breed show for the Golf Channel. They just added an Oriental rug and custom drapery, and they had an instant TV set.
Q: Did Merion Golf Club or the USGA have any special requirements?
A: When we started talking early in 2012, it seemed like an unrealistic luxury to be able to work with ModSpace exclusively for the 2013 U.S. Open. When I explained the need to our company leadership and told the USGA of the possibility, they were excited. It’s much easier to work with one company who understands your needs and is committed to give you the quality of buildings you expect on time and guaranteed.
Q: Did delivery and setup present any unique challenges?
A: I can’t say enough about the USGA team and the ModSpace Operations Team and their coordination. It’s great to see two world-class organizations work together. If you were at the Open, you could see our buildings in every nook and cranny of Merion and Haverford College.
Q: Can you name a few of the companies that were using our mobile offices at The Open?
The list is very long. Every company that had an interest in the tournament was working out of our buildings. The USGA, NBC Sports, American Express, CNN and the USGA are just a few of them.
Q: What did you learn from this experience?
A: First, the amount of work that goes into a major championship is incredible. We’re lucky the USGA chose Merion Golf Club as the location for this year’s championship. We have more than 80 branches in the U.S and Canada so we could have supported the event anywhere, but with our corporate office just a few miles down the road, we have even more resources available to deliver as promised.
Second, the Philadelphia area should have a regular PGA tour event. The fans were great and we have wonderful courses that the touring pros rave about. I’ll never forget the excitement of the event and the camaraderie of the fans on the train into Ardmore Station!
Q: Can you talk about ModSpace’s ability to manage special events? Why are we a solution for promoters and planners?
A: Well, it all starts from the top. ModSpace leadership makes the financial decisions and our Operations team takes it from there. Our Director of Operations, Kurt Schneider worked on the U.S Opens at Shinnecock Hills and Bethpage. We knew how to handle the tournament. We understand what’s important to put on a special event of this magnitude, and we don’t take it lightly. We know that while modular buildings are crucial to an event, event operators have plenty on their plate so we do everything we can to ease that burden.