EventScotland will welcome some of the key decision makers within international sport over the coming weeks, as Scotland continues to bid for and secure the right to stage some of the world’s most prestigious events.
A delegation representing European Athletics touched down in Glasgow today and will spend two days in the country as part of evaluation visits to cities bidding for the 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships. Glasgow is one of four potential hosts and, if successful, would be the first Scottish destination for a European Athletics event in 15 years.
As well as undertaking discussions with bid partners, including the Scottish Government, EventScotland, Glasgow City Council, Scottish Athletics and British Athletics, the group will tour the Emirates Arena to witness first-hand its undoubted capability for hosting the world’s most prestigious sporting events.
The itinerary includes a visit to Scotstoun Sports Campus, which has been identified as a training venue for competitors, while Glasgow’s accommodation provision will also be assessed with a view to hosting hundreds of athletes and, potentially, thousands of tourists from around Europe.
A decision as to the destination of the blue riband event is expected in April 2016, following a final presentation made on behalf of Scottish partners to European Athletics in Amsterdam.
Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health, said:
“Glasgow has a growing reputation as a world-class venue for athletics, putting the city in a strong position to secure the bid. There are very few indoor venues as good as the Emirates Arena, and we have some of the most enthusiastic fans.
“I am looking forward to the up and coming Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix, which will be an ideal opportunity to showcase how well we can stage events like this in Scotland, and hope we will see the European Athletics Indoor Championships at this fabulous venue in 2019.”
Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor Archie Graham OBE, said:
“In recent years Glasgow has established itself as one of the world’s top sporting cities thanks to our investment in new facilities and our international sporting events programme.
“Athletics has been at the very heart of our rise as a world-leading sporting city. This weekend’s Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix will take the sport to a new level and we hope to build on that success with the 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships, which would see Europe’s top athletes return to the Emirates Arena. Our aim is to deliver a world-class event with athletes and spectators at its very heart.”
Niels de Vos, Chief Executive of British Athletics, said:
“This weekend’s 2016 Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix has sold out months in advance, demonstrating the huge support for elite athletics there is within the Scottish public.
“I’m delighted that Glasgow City and EventScotland decided to build on the success of the 2014 Commonwealth Games and previous British Athletics events held in the city by bidding to host European Athletics’ flagship indoor event at the Emirates Arena in 2019.
“We know that, if successful, Glasgow would establish a new standard for the European Athletics Indoor Championships against which all future editions would be measured, and we hope the delegation have a successful visit.”