Track refurbishment enhances key community sports facility in time to welcome the world’s best athletes to Glasgow

Track refurbishment enhances key community sports facility in time to welcome the world’s best athletes to Glasgow

With just two weeks to go until the World Athletics Indoor Championships Glasgow 24 gets underway, Glasgow Life is pleased to confirm that a brand-new track surface will await the world’s best athletes when they compete for world championship titles at the Emirates Arena next month.

As part of the ongoing refurbishment programme of its sports facilities, Glasgow Life has scheduled the works to be completed ahead of this prestigious event, the first time a World Athletics Indoor Championships has been held in Scotland.

Glasgow Life has overseen the build, working with specialist suppliers DYNAMIK and Mondo, as the arena is upgraded 12 years after its original construction for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

As part of the city’s commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2030, a new LED lighting system has also been installed at the venue, reducing energy consumption. It will provide better operational conditions for broadcast and support wider legacy uses of the space.

The Emirates Arena is well established as a world class athletics venue, having hosted numerous national and international events including the 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships and most recently the Muller Indoor Grand Prix in 2020. This significant upgrade will ensure that Glasgow retains its place on the international athletics scene for years to come.

As well as ensuring the arena is ready to host the world’s best, the refurbishment firmly demonstrates the city’s commitment to its thriving community sport programme. The track is well used by many of the city’s next generation of elite competitors across a range of sports, and plays host to Scottish Athletics’ national, club and school competitions throughout the year. Current GB & NI track stars Laura Muir and Jemma Reekie are amongst a host of top Scots who have made good use of the arena during key stages of their careers.

With many memorable moments already having taken place at the arena, the World Athletics Indoor Championships Glasgow 24 promises to deliver even more spectacular performances as over 650 athletes from 130 countries compete for gold next month (1-3 March), with just a few seats left following the final release of tickets for the event last week.

In what is sure to be a fantastic atmosphere in this intimate venue, where fans are seated up close to the action, news of the new track will no doubt be a boost to both athletes and fans alike as the excitement starts to build.

Baillie Annette Christie, Chair of Glasgow Life said:

Glasgow has a proven track record in hosting major international events and is committed to using them to encourage participation in sport and physical activity, ensuring a positive impact that benefits local communities.

Much of our success in this area is predicated on our ongoing investment in world class sporting venues like the Emirates Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome. 10 years on since the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, this significant upgrade to the arena will ensure that we can offer a state-of-the-art indoor athletics venue to both our aspiring young athletes who use the facility on a day-to-day basis and world champions alike.

With just two weeks to go to the championships we look forward to welcoming athletes from 130 countries across the globe to Glasgow and showing why we are known as one of the world’s friendliest cities.

World Athletics Chief Executive Officer, Jon Ridgeon, said:

This is a fantastic legacy for the City of Glasgow and ensures a world-class training and competition facility for Scottish athletes who are increasingly becoming a fixture on our podiums. The fact that Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Life have been able to schedule the installation of the new track and the lighting system in time for the World Indoors, will not only enhance the quality of performances at the Championships, but secures the future of the sport at all levels for many years to come.

Colin Hutchison, Scottish Athletics Chief Executive Officer said:

I am delighted the renovation work at the Emirates Arena has been completed and we look forward to an exciting World Indoors at the venue.

The benefit for the athletics community in Scotland – as well as seeing global stars up close for a few days – is a ‘new’ indoor track and field facility for years to come. Realistically, the arena needed improvements at some point, and we’re pleased to be through the other end of that now.

Athletes and coaches have been very patient this winter, and we are grateful for that, and we are really excited about coming back in the winter of 2024-25 for our indoor season and the return of Scottish Championship events.

The venue looks great now and I am certain the atmosphere for the World Indoors is going to be very special.