Emirates Arena officially opened in Glasgow ahead of 2014 Commonwealth Games
Friday, 05 October 2012
October 5 - The Emirates Arena, one of the main sporting complexes for 2014 Commonwealth Games, was officially opened here in the East End of Glasgow.
The giant facility, which was built at a cost of £113 million ($177 million/€144 million), consists of the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, the Indoor Sports Arena and three full-size sports halls.
During the Commonwealth Games, the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome will host the track cycling, while the Indoor Sports Arena will host badminton.
The venue has also been named as one of the key facilities for the Glasgow 2018 Youth Olympic Games bid and will become a community sports facility as of tomorrow, as well as being the permanent home of the Glasgow Rocks basketball team.
The venue was officially opened by Councillor Gordon Matheson, the Leader of Glasgow City Council, who claimed it marked a historic moment for the city.
"It is a truly world-class venue that will be the new home of indoor sport in Scotland," he told insidethegames.
"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."
Built on a 10.5 hectare site next the Commonwealth Games Athletes' Village and Celtic Park, the Emirates Arena is one of the largest facilities of its kind in Europe.
It was built in just under three years after construction work started back in January 2010.
"Today's official opening is yet another great milestone in Glasgow's journey to the Games," said Glasgow 2014 chairman Lord Smith.
"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."
During the Games, the venue will be known as the Commonwealth Arena although Emirates, which signed a ten-year naming rights deal for the venue, is likely to do a separate deal with Glasgow 2014 to secure naming rights during the Games, which would be an addition to their current sponsorship.
"This facility is unlike any I have ever seen," said Emirates' sales manager for Scotland and North East England Denise Holmes.
"The thought that has gone into the design and execution makes it one of the best equipped and high-tech venues of its type worldwide.
"The Emirates Arena has been built, not only for professional sportspeople but also local residents and it is my hope that the opportunities offered through access to such a state-of-the-art facility will inspire a generation.
"The Emirates Arena is a flagship venue and we are honoured to be able have such a close association with it and the people of Glasgow."