Attendances at the new home of Scottish sport – the £113 million Emirates Arena – crashed through the 75,000 mark during December’s sell out Glasgow World Cup Gymnastics event.
The Emirates Arena, which was built by Glasgow City Council and will be operated by Glasgow Life, was officially opened on Friday 5th October and since then it has played host to six major sporting events at Scottish, European and World level. It is also the new home of Scotland’s only professional basketball side the Glasgow Rocks, as well one of the best equipped Glasgow Club community sports facilities.
Other highlights include over 17,000 attendances at the Glasgow Club Emirates Arena. The facility has helped attract 1,000 new Glasgow Club members, with 66% of them coming from the East End of the city, while there has now been around 5,000 uses of the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome by members of the public.
Chair of Glasgow Life and the Executive Member for the Commonwealth Games, Councillor Archie Graham, said: “The Emirates Arena has firmly established itself as one of the world’s leading events venues. Some of the biggest names in world sport including several Olympic and World champions have already graced the arena’s competition areas and we look forward to that continuing in the future.
“We built the Emirates Arena for the people of Glasgow and the public response so far has been incredible. It is fantastic to see so many people coming to events and using the sports facilities including the Glasgow Club and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome. But as we go forward we want to build on that success and make sure even more people come through the doors over the coming months and years.”
UCI Track Cycling World Cup
The Emirates Arena’s busiest period so far was during the recent UCI Track Cycling World Cup, when more than 20,000 people came through the doors to watch three days of world-class action in the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome. The excited spectators created an electric atmosphere for the cyclists as they raced around the Velodrome at breath taking speeds. One of many highlights of the night was double Olympic gold medallist Laura Trott claiming gold in the Omnium.
World Cup Gymanstics
The 2012 Glasgow World Cup Gymnastics event in December was also a sell out, with almost 5,000 people packing into the arena. The Gymnastics World cup invites the top artistic gymnasts to compete in four events throughout the year. This event allowed Glaswegians to witness first hand some elite performances from the world’s best gymnasts, including several British Olympians. The thousands in attendance witnessed Britain’s Dan Purvis valiantly attempt to retain his gold medal, ultimately finishing in the bronze medal position.
World Premiere Club Challenge
The Emirates Arena recently hosted the World Premiere Netball Challenge, which invited elite netball teams from around the world to compete in a round robin tournament, which included our very own Glasgow Wildcats. The event was attended by 2,500 spectators who were able to witness the Wildcats pit themselves against the very best in the world as well as take part in netball skill zones. The event also allowed various schools to attend and allow the children access to the Emirates Arena and an elite sporting experience. The Challenge was won by West Coast Fever who defeated Central Pulse 53-47 in the final game of the tournament.
The Emirates Arena played host to the International Badminton Championships in November, which welcomed 297 players from 32 nations who were attempting to win the third oldest open championship in Badminton. There were 5,000 spectators that attended the event and were encouraged to take part in a mini badminton carnival which included a festival and skill zones for them to participate in. Badminton Scotland also put on some coach education and an effort to encourage people to become involved in officiating in the sport.