Glasgow will partner Berlin as co hosts of a new multi-sport European Championship in 2018 which is set to attract a TV audience of 850 million people, and help promote Scotland as an international tourist and business destination.
The inaugural European Sports Championship will see Glasgow and Berlin host a series of events over the 10-12 day competition, with sports including swimming and cycling coming to Glasgow. Berlin will host the athletics tournaments at the Olympic Stadium.
Talks are ongoing about including golf, with Gleneagles mooted as the host venue. Diving competitions will be held at the Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh and open swimming races at the scenic waters of Loch Lomond. Four different cycling events will be held in Glasgow – track, road race, mountain biking and BMX, the first time all four disciplines have been staged together at the same tournament. The BMX event will be held at a new track being built in the city in time for the competition. Rowing and triathlon events will bring over 750 athletes to Strathclyde Country Park in Lanarkshire.
Around 2900 athletes are expected to compete in Scotland as part of the total delegation of 8200 including officials and media. Glasgow will host the opening ceremony in George Square with live celebration zones being set up for the public throughout the tournament. Glasgow City bosses also plans to factor in a European Culture Festival at arts venues across the city during the competition.
Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health said:“Last summer Scotland showed the world what a tremendous job it can do when it comes to staging major sporting events, with the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup both hugely successful. The European Sports Championships will be another chance for Scotland to prove it’s the perfect stage for top class events. Not only will this be a fantastic opportunity for Scottish sports fans to see some of Europe’s top athletes competing in our world class venues, it will also attract visitors from around the continent, providing a great boost to the economy.”
Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, added:“I am delighted that Glasgow has been chosen by such prestigious sporting bodies to stage this new and exciting event in partnership with our friends in Berlin. Not only will Glasgow’s tourism offer be promoted across Europe, we will be able to continue many of the outstanding legacy initiatives which have done so much to create opportunity and improve health for our citizens. Hosting these world class events has helped us increase attendance at sporting facilities by 50 per cent and an increase in the number of people joining sports clubs by a staggering 288 per cent.”
Such major events will have an impact on tourism businesses of all kinds with huge numbers of visitors expected from across Europe to attend the Championships and explore on further around the country as part of their trip. Find out more information and tips on making the most of major events in the Tourism Intelligence Scotland Events and Festivals Guide