Glasgow: A Great Sporting City


One of the World's top Five Sporting Cities

Glasgow has maintained its place as one of the world’s top five Ultimate Sports Cities of 2018 as London was named at the top of SportBusiness International’s global ranking.


The announcement took place at an award ceremony in Bangkok where the SportAccord Convention took place. Glasgow won the award for the world’s Best Small City for hosting sporting events, while joining with New York, Melbourne and Auckland, as contenders for the overall prize won by London.


Glasgow was nominated in further categories including Best Marketing/Branding, Best Venues and Best Legacy. The Best Small City category is for cities with a population of less than 1.3 million – Glasgow’s population is less than half of that, at around 600,000.


Councillor David McDonald, Chair of Glasgow Life and Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: "There’s no doubt that we’re world leaders and world beaters when it comes to hosting major sports events. We have the venues, we have the hotels and attractions, but most importantly we have the people – those who are experts at staging great events and the people of Glasgow who provide the enthusiastic support to competition and an unrivalled welcome to our great city.


“It’s been almost four years since we hosted what was the best ever Commonwealth Games. Since then, we have hosted numerous national, European and world championship events. We’re counting down the days to the inaugural Glasgow 2018 European Championships where once again the city will be transformed by sport and culture."


Adam Nelson Commissioning Editor, at SportBusiness International, added: "Glasgow is an all-rounder when it comes to hosting major sports events, choosing ones that fit carefully devised objectives while at the same time showcasing a vibrant sports-mad city.

“The legacy benefits of the 2014 Commonwealth Games will continue for generations to come and are to be applauded and admired."



Since hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2014, Glasgow has welcomed the World Gymnastics Championships in 2015; World Badminton Championships in 2017 and following the inaugural 2018 European Championships, the city will play host in 2019 to the European Athletics Indoor Championships and European Short Course Swimming Championships and in 2020 the World Men’s Curling Championship.


Glasgow is also a host for UEFA European Championships competition in 2020.


The city will continue to hold regular gymnastics, cycling and swimming championships and mass participation sport events, such as the Great Scottish Run and Womens’ 10k..Glasgow’s rise as one of the world's top sporting cities has been secured thanks to the city’s investment in world-class facilities, its international events programme, commitment to increasing participation and leaving a lasting legacy for future generations.


The SportBusiness Ultimate Sports Cities Awards are the internationally recognised and longest-established rankings of the world’s top sports hosts. The have been held every two years since 2006 when they were founded by SportBusiness International.



Glasgow's top sporting venues

Glasgow has a vast array of exceptional world-class sporting facilities, which are owned by Glasgow City Council. These include the Kelvin Hall, Scotstoun Sports Campus, Tollcross International Aquatics Centre and Toryglen Regional Football Centre. Both Scotstoun and Tollcross underwent extensive refurbishment ahead of Glasgow’s hosting of the Commonwealth Games in 2014 at a cost of £18 million (€23 million) and £17 million (€20 million) respectively.

The city is also home to Scotland's largest football stadia: Celtic Park (60,355 seats), Ibrox Stadium (50,947 seats) and Hampden Park (51,866 seats), which is Scotland's national football stadium.

Hampden Park holds the European record for attendance at a football match when 149,547 fans saw Scotland play England in 1937. This was before British stadia became all-seated!

Major developments

The Kelvinhall

Phase one of Glasgow’s iconic Kelvin Hall has recently reopened following a major £35 million (€41 million) refurbishment. The project – which will bring about 50 per cent of the building back into use will include Scotland’s biggest health and fitness facilities – Glasgow Club at Kelvin Hall, a state-of-the-art health and fitness centre, which includes an 8 court multi-purpose sports hall, 4 court gymnastics hall, 3 dedicated group fitness studios and one of the largest fitness gyms in Scotland at over 1,000m2.

The Emirates Arena

The state-of-the-art £113 million (€132 million) Emirates Arena opened in Glasgow on 5th October 2012 as one of the most versatile and innovative purpose built structures of its type in Europe. The 10.5 hectare site was the showcase venue of Glasgow’s hosting of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Known as the Commonwealth Arena during the 2014 Games, the venue hosted the badminton and track cycling events. It will be the host venue in March 2019 for the 35th European Athletics Indoor Championships.


The indoor arena can accommodate 6,500 spectator seats when set up for sporting competitions and is the national training centre for athletics, basketball, netball, track cycling and volleyball and includes Scotland’s first dedicated indoor Velodrome.

The Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome at the Emirates

The Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome at the Emirates provides elite training and an international competition standard venue. It has a permanent capacity for 2,000 seated and 500 standing spectators viewing the 250-metre cycle track, which was increased to 4000 seats during Glasgow 2014 for the track cycling events. The Velodrome track was designed by internationally renowned Ralph Schuermann, the designer of the 2008 Olympic Games Velodrome in Beijing.

The design of the Velodrome’s track - and its accreditation by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) - is viewed as key to the success of the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome as an event arena.

The SSE Hydro

Since its opening in 2013 on the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow, the SSE Hydro has boosted the city’s major event and conference credentials, ranking third, twice in Pollstar’s Top 100 global arenas list. The list is compiled by the leading entertainment industry publication, based on arena attendance for concerts and special events.


In a further accolade, The SSE Hydro was also rated number one in the recently announced BILLBOARD Charts. The venue ranked first in the Top 10 Venues (10,000 – 15,000 capacity division) globally, coming in ahead of Hallenstadion in Zurich, Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin and Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Australia. Venues are ranked by Billboard based on gross ticket sales.