Emirates Arena off to flying start as over 10,000 visit during opening weekend
Monday, 08 October 2012
October 8 - Glasgow's brand new Emirates Arena, which will be one of the key venues for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, has got off to a superb start after more than 10,000 people visited the facility during its opening weekend.
The arena, 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, it will host the track cycling and badminton competitions and it was officially opened for the first time on Friday (October 5) as a community sports facility, where it has already proved a major hit.
Over 3,000 people attended the venue on Saturday (October 6) to view a variety of pre-programmed sporting activities, while over 7,000 people attended yesterday, including around 5,000 basketball fans, who watched the Glasgow Rocks' first home match at the Emirates Arena against Newcastle Eagles.
"The opening of the Emirates Arena heralded the dawn of a bright new era for Scottish sport," said a spokesman for Glasgow Life, which operates the venue.
"Over the coming months and years it will be used by both elite athletes and local people, as it was this weekend, and will inspire a generation to become involved in sport.
"The Emirates Arena was built for the people of Glasgow and they ensured it got off to a winning start as they came through the doors in their thousands over the course of the opening weekend.
"It was fantastic to see the venue so busy and that bodes well for the future.
"It will of course host a major sporting events programme and it was fantastic to see the Glasgow Rocks record their largest ever attendance for a home match against Newcastle in their first game at the arena.
"It has been a weekend to remember but this is just the start of what promises to be a long and successful era of sport at the Emirates Arena."
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 and it has also been named as one of the key facilities for the Glasgow 2018 Youth Olympic Games bid.
During the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the venue will be known as the Commonwealth Arena, although Emirates, which signed a ten-year naming rights deal for the venue, is set to do a separate deal with Glasgow 2014 to secure naming rights during the Games in addition to its current sponsorship.
October 2012: Emirates Arena officially opened in Glasgow ahead of 2014 Commonwealth Games
September 2012: Emirates sign £5 million deal to sponsor Commonwealth Arena but will have to pay extra for Glasgow 2014
September 2012: Glasgow Rocks basketball outfit prepares to make new home at Commonwealth Sports Arena