Glasgow’s Emirates Arena is up and running!
The £113 million sports venue at 1000 London Road in the city’s East End was opened on Friday 5 October 2012 by Glasgow City Council Leader, Gordon Matheson.
He stood at the door and personally welcomed some of the 400 pupils from Sacred Heart and Dalmarnock Primary Schools who were among the first official users into the building. They were trying out the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, Scotland’s only indoor velodrome, which is an integral part of the venue.
During the weekend following the opening, the place attracted well over 10,000 people who were freely able to inspect the new facility.
Located next to the Commonwealth Games Athletes’ Village and Celtic Park, the Emirates Arena is the largest facility of its kind in Europe. During the Commonwealth Games in 2014, it will host the badminton and track cycling events and will be called the Commonwealth Arena for the duration of those Games.
The 10.5 hectare site also contains an indoor sports arena, three full-sized sports halls, 12 badminton courts, four outdoor 5-a-side football pitches, a 1km outdoor cycle circuit, one of the largest of Glasgow Club health and fitness centres and a luxury spa.
While it is home to Scotland’s only professional basketball team, The Glasgow Rocks, it is also home to citizens of Glasgow who are members of the Glasgow Club.
Said Councillor Matheson: ‘By investing in new facilities such as this, we will help to inspire a generation to become more involved in sport.’
He took a party of VIP guests on a tour of the Emirates Area. They included Shona Robison MSP, Minister for the Commonwealth Games and Sport; Gordon Arthur, Director of Communications and Marketing at Glasgow 2014; Michael Cavanagh, Chair of Commonwealth Games Scotland; Louise Martin CBE, Chair of sportscotland and Denise Holmes, Emirates’ Sales Manager for Scotland and North East England.
Said Minister Shona Robison: ‘This will be an excellent venue for the 2014 Games, a world-class venue for Glasgow and a legacy for the West of Scotland.’
Emirate’s Sales Manager, Denise Holmes said: ‘This facility is unlike any I have ever seen. 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 is a flagship venue and we are honoured to be able to have such a close association with it and the people of Glasgow.’
Commented Lord Smith, Chair of Glasgow 2014: ‘This landmark venue is ready to welcome the best Commonwealth sportsmen and women, competing for glory in the badminton and track cycling events in less than two years’ time. The fact that it is now open to the local community and will host world-class events well in advance of the Games, is a tangible example tha the Games’ legacy is starting now.’
Said Michael Cavanagh, Chair of Commonwealth Games Scotland: This truly fabulous facility will be one of the iconic venues in 2014. It all adds to the excitement for the athletes and their determination to be competing for Team Scotland at Glasgow 2014.’
Louise Martin CBE, Chair of sportscotland, said: ‘The Emirates Arena opening marks a key milestone on the road to Glasgow 2014. It is a truly phenomenal facility which will help inspire future generations to become involved in sport and physical activity. It will undoubtedly provide some fantastic sporting moments for years to come – the World Cup Track Cycling and the World Cup Gymnastics for a start. It will also be a real asset to the surrounding community who will benefit from regular access to this world-class facility.’
Between now and early February 2013, the Emirates Arena will be host to eight Scottish, European or World level sporting events.
For further information and ticket details see website: www.emiratesarena.co.uk
Glasgow Rocks fans describe the venue as ‘amazing’ despite the fact that their team lost to Newcastle Eagles in the very first game in the new arena. The Eagles won 106 – 84 after a strong push in the final quarter of the game.
The Glasgow Rocks, the city’s only professional basketball team, will play their final match at Glasgow’s Kelvin Hall International Sports Arena on Friday 4 May. They relocate to Glasgow’s stunning £113 million Commonwealth Arena when the new season starts in October.
They meet Leicester Riders on Friday in the British Basketball League (BBL) semi-final first leg play-off. Tip-off is 7.30pm. See their website for details: www.glasgowrocks.co.uk
Currently Rocks have 32 points which puts them four places down from leaders Newcastle Eagles who are at 46 points.
In a farewell event – and as part of their training for the Friday match – Rocks stars Sterling Davis and Gareth Murray among others, will join pupils from Hillhead Primary School for a training session on Wednesday 2 May in the Kelvin Hall.
The Rocks have played at the Kelvin Hall since 2008.
The Glasgow Rocks basketball team have added centre Randall Hanke to their line-up until the end of the BBL season.
New York-born Hanke has come though the US college circuit with Providence, Rhode Island, and wrote himself an impressive point-scoring CV from 2004.
At 6’11’’ tall, Hanke is a formidable presence. He holds British citizenship and has five Team GB caps under his belt.
‘Randall is the body we’ve been searching for, for what seems like forever now,’ said Rocks Coach Sterling Davis. ‘He’s a hard worker on both ends of the floor with a soft touch around the basket. He will definitely give us some added depth on our frontline.’
Hanke will travel with the Rocks to Leicester for Saturday’s encounter and then on to Plymouth on Sunday for what will be a tough away double header.
He is likely to make his home debut on 7 February when the Rocks face Worthing Thunder at Kelvin Hall, tip-off 5pm.
Bullish Davis added: ‘Our squad has grown in depth and with everyone fighting fit we have as good a chance as anyone in this league. We have a talented and athletic group of guys and we just need the belief to take us all the way.
‘Randall adds that extra height and strength which can help us down the stretch.’
The Rocks have announced the date of their Trophy competition second round match. The team progressed to the second round of the BBL Trophy competition with a 69-60 win over Sheffield Sharks in the first on 10 January.
They will now face the winner of London Capital v Everton Tigers in the second round, which is to be decided on 23 January.
The second round match will be played at Kelvin Hall on 11 February, tip-off 7.30pm.
Glasgow Rocks have added firepower to their line-up with the arrival of Michael Crowell.
The six-feet-seven-inch forward is likely to join Sterling Davis’s squad for the 29 November encounter with Worcester Wolves at Kelvin Hall.
The arrival of the US/German player is timely, as Davis will sit out a one-match ban while his team take on the West Midlands outfit.
Crowell, who graduated from Division 1 Idaho University has played in Spain and Germany. He spent last season with Weissenhorn of the Basketball-Bundesliga.
Player/coach Davis said: ‘Michael will give us a little more depth offensively, especially with his ability to knock down the three-point shot in bunches.
‘He’s got a good size to him, especially for his position, which is always a plus for any coach because it causes such huge match-up problems when time to defend, but also works to our advantage defensively to be able to have a bigger defender on the perimeter.’
He added: ‘It’s hard to believe that a guy with his talent is still out there and has been throughout the course of the summer. I think he will definitely be an asset to what we are trying to accomplish here.’