How to make history at The Open

It all started with integrating the website with one of the biggest tickets selling platforms. The website was pulling through the tickets and hospitality packages from the 3rd party and displaying them on the website. At this point, the most important thing was to have all the prices pulled correctly given the different phases and discounts. Thanks to the close collaboration between the R&A and TEC teams, this went quite smoothly.

The next step was to make sure the integrated solution would support the expected number of users on the website. Based on the data from previous years and the campaign database, the expected number of users were estimated by The R&A as follows:

  • • Expected number of users on the website: 120.000
  • • Expected number of users buying products: 6.000 to 8.000

And this is when things got interesting. At this point, we were 2 weeks away from launching the 2020 products for the championship at Royal St George’s.

The tickets selling platform could only support 60 number of requests per minute. At the same time, the website has been running on 2 servers only, with shared data between them.

For the first impediment, a throttling system has been implemented. This way the requests going out to the tickets selling platform got queued. This had to be done in such a manner that the users are not affected.

For the second challenge to be resolved, new servers had to be put in place, so the load is dispersed among more servers. At this point, the code had to be refactored in such a way that the shared data between the servers are not lost.

The solution was presented to The R&A 4 days ahead of the launch where everything worked perfectly. The only thing remaining was performance testing and we were good to go!

The QA team had to make sure they capture all the possible scenarios while running performance tests, making sure the platform can process up to 2,100 purchases per minute. In the meantime, the rest of the team was waiting anxiously for the results. Once the results came out and everything looked good from a performance point of view, we were ready for the launch.

The launch of tickets for The 149th Open went very smoothly thanks to the fact that every single step and change has been planned down to the last minute. Once the products have been launched, both teams monitored the progress: the R&A team kept updating us on how many tickets have been sold and if there were any issues reported by the users; the TEC team kept monitoring the servers, the number of users on the website and the error logs.

The sale for 2020 tickets at Royal St. George’s, is the fastest ever start to sale in The Open’s history, with 50% tickets sold within 3-weeks.

The commitment and the effort that was put in by both teams was greater than anything I’ve experienced before. This proves to me once again, that the correct mindset, approach and skillsets make things possible.

Melinda MISZTI Senior Developer