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Commonwealth Sports Arena officially opened

05/10/2012
Sport and physical activity
The Commonwealth Sports Arena, which features the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, has been officially opened in the East End of Glasgow.

Over 400 children from primary schools across Glasgow were the very first people to use the £113million venue, which has already been hailed as one of the best indoor sports facilities in the world. The construction project was completed on time and on budget, with funding from Glasgow City Council (£98million) and sportscotland (£15million).

The pupils showcased some of the many sports that will be played at the Commonwealth Sports Arena over the coming months and years including athletics, badminton, basketball, football, netball and track cycling. There were also demonstrations in disability sport, while Scotland's only professional basketball team, the Glasgow Rocks, took part in an open training session ahead of their first home match at their new home against Newcastle Eagles this Sunday.

Built on a 10.5 hectare site next the Commonwealth Games Athletes’ Village and Celtic Park, the arena is one of the largest facilities of its kind in Europe and is already home to a world-class sporting events programme. The venue, which will be called the Commonwealth Arena during the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, will host the badminton and track cycling events at the Games.

Facilities include the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, an indoor sports arena, three full-size sports halls with 12 badminton courts, four outdoor 5-a-side football pitches, an outdoor 1km outdoor cycle circuit, one of the largest Glasgow Club health and fitness centres in the city and a luxury spa.

Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, Shona Robison, said: “It’s amazing to see the arena open its doors as a showpiece venue for the Commonwealth Games, funded by the Scottish Government and other partners.

“As we race towards 2014, another facility is rising out of the Glasgow skyline showing what a fitting host city it will be. Not only is the arena an excellent venue for the 2014 Games, it is also a world-class venue for Glasgow, creating a legacy for the rest of Scotland for years to come.”

Councillor Matheson said: "Today marks the dawn of a new era for Scottish sport as we officially open the arena. It is a truly world-class venue that will be the new home of indoor sport in Scotland.

“The arena was built for the people of Glasgow so it is fitting that the very first people to use it today were school children from across the city. By investing in new facilities such as this we will help inspire a generation to become more involved in sport.

“Participation in sport is increasing in the city and we want to see that continue in the lead up to, and beyond, the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. The world-class events programme that will be hosted here, not least the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, will help us achieve this.

“I can’t wait to see the arena filled with local people and elite athletes alike over the coming months and years.”

Chair of Glasgow 2014, Lord Smith, said: “Today’s official opening is yet another great milestone in Glasgow’s journey to the Games. This landmark venue is ready to welcome the best sportsmen and women, competing for glory in the badminton and track cycling, from around the Commonwealth in less than two years’ time.

“It is in these venues that the success of Glasgow 2014 as an outstanding event that is celebrated throughout Glasgow, Scotland and the Commonwealth will be realised. The fact that the venue will be open to the local community and host world-class events well in advance of the Games is a tangible example that the Games Legacy is starting now.”

Chair of Commonwealth Games Scotland, Michael Cavanagh, said: “This truly fabulous facility will be one of the iconic venues in 2014 when it plays host to the Commonwealth Games track cycling and badminton events.

“Seeing the plans progress in the city for the Games over the last few months all adds to the excitement for the athletes and their determination to be competing for Team Scotland at Glasgow 2014.

“Emirates have been a fantastic sponsor of Team Scotland in the past and it is great to see them come on board to support the new Arena in this way.”

Chair of sportscotland, Louise Martin CBE, said: “Today’s opening of the arena marks a key milestone in the road towards Glasgow 2014. It is a truly phenomenal facility which will help to inspire future generations to become involved in sport and physical activity.

“With all the amazing international events which are set to be held at the venue, including the World Cup Track Cycling and the World Cup Gymnastics, in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games, it will undoubtedly provide some fantastic sporting moments for years to come. However, it is also going to be a real asset to the surrounding community, which will benefit from having regular access to this world-class facility.”

The jewel in the crown of the £113million arena is the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome. The 250-metre cycle track was designed by Ralf Schuermann, who is regarded as one of the world’s top velodrome designers. To date he has built over 140 velodromes including the 2008 Olympic Games cycling venue in Beijing. The Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome has a permanent capacity for 2,000 seated and 500 standing spectators, which can be increased to 3,700 seats during major events.

The arena has a flexible capacity of up to 6,500 spectators and can host a range of sports including athletics, badminton, boxing, gymnastics, judo and netball. The state-of-the-art sports hall has three full-size sports courts (volleyball, 5-a-side football, netball, basketball etc) or 12 badminton courts. It can also be configured to have one show court, with a seating capacity for 1,200 spectators.

As well as being a competition and training venue for elite athletes, the state-of-the-art arena is open for community use in a move that will help inspire the next generation of athletes and sports stars. It is also the administrative hub for several national sports federations and Glasgow Life's Sports Development unit, placing it right at the epicentre of Scottish sport.

The Glasgow Club health and fitness centre is one of the largest and best equipped in the city. It has 80 cardiovascular and strength and conditioning machines including treadmills, rowing machines and step machines. It also has a functional training zone, dance studio, spin studio and mind and body studio. The luxury spa has a vitality pool, sauna, sanarium, steam room, caldarium, two treatment rooms and a relaxation area.

In its first four months of operation (5 October 2012 to 2 February 2013) the arena will play host to no fewer than eight Scottish, European or World level sporting events. Further information on the events coming to the arena, including full ticket details, can be found at:

www.emiratesarena.co.uk