By James Crook

149578248May 8 - The Scottish Open badminton Championships have been promoted to Grand Prix status, starting with this year's event at Glasgow's Emirates Arena in November.

The promotion to Grand Prix status from International Challenge by the Badminton World Federation will mean a quadrupled prize fund; from the previous £9,680 ($15,024/€11,411), to £38,700 ($60,000/€45,620) for this year's event, which should entice more of the world top players to compete at the Scottish Open.

"It is perfect timing as it comes less than a year before the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow," said Badminton Scotland chief executive Anne Smillie.

"It guarantees a higher standard of entry for the third oldest tournament in world badminton, thanks to a significant increase in prize money.

"We particularly want to encourage players from the Commonwealth nations to take part this November as it will be a chance for Asian countries like Malaysia, India and Singapore to play in the Emirates Arena before the Commonwealth Games in July next year.

"We also want to see players from Canada, Australia and New Zealand taking part.

"We are working hard at attracting a truly world-class entry as well as the television coverage we need to reach a wider audience.

"All the players competing at last year's Scottish Open were very impressed with the new Arena and its facilities and Glasgow can be rightly proud of the venue.

"It is perfect for top-class badminton."

emirates arena velodrome m221112 12This year's first Scottish Open Grand Prix will take place at Glasgow's Emirates Arena from November 20-24

The £113 million ($175 million/€135 million) Emirates Arena opened in Glasgow's East End in October last year, and will host twelve badminton courts in its three indoor arenas during the Commonwealth Games next year.

"We have been able to achieve this rise in status only thanks to the incredible support of our funding partners," continued Smillie.

"Together with Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Life and Event Scotland, we have been able to put together a package worth £750,000 ($1.2 million/€885,000) over the next four years."

Paul Bush, chief executive for EventScotland said: "The new Grand Prix status of badminton's Scottish Open Championships is testament to the quality of the event and the aspirations for this year at the Emirates Arena.

"With some of the world's top athletes competing, the international interest in this event will be greater than ever before, which will showcase Scotland's credentials as a leading sporting events destination."

Tickets for the event, which is due to take place between November 20 and 24, will go on sale in August.

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