24 Apr 2015
No doubt during the summer we will be asking how the legacy of the Commonwealth Games is panning out - one year on. Glasgow Life has given that legacy a huge boost with its recent announcement that the city will be co-hosting the European Sports Championships in July/August 2018, alongside Berlin.
This is a new 12-day event set up by several sports governing bodies to bring their existing European Championships together at the same time to achieve a greater audience reach than they can achieve on their own.
The format combines track, road, mountain bike and BMX cycling, swimming and diving, rowing and triathlon - all to be held in Scotland - with athletics held in the Olympic Stadium in Berlin. I have no doubt Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Life and Event Scotland would have been bidding to attract each of these European Championships in the normal course of their business, so to be the first to host the combined championships is a spectacular coup.
There are many reasons why Glasgow should be celebrating this win. It’s another multi-sports event bringing nearly 3,000 athletes to the city – about half as many as the Commonwealth Games – along with an estimated audience of 850 million across the Continent’s free-to-view TV channels.
It’s another chance to show the new Glasgow to an audience that may not have seen it before – and this time it’s a pan-European audience, including some of our most important trading partners like Germany, France and the Netherlands.
Hosting it jointly with Berlin is an extra bonus, demonstrating the level at which Glasgow is now operating in the world sporting market. At the Chamber we will be paying special attention to the opportunity we now have to deepen our business connections with Germany. We are engineers and scientists, and so famously are the Germans. We want to make the most of that.
Given that we don’t have to build new facilities since they are all there from the Commonwealth Games and there will be no athletes village needed - our hotels will be significant beneficiaries - this is likely to be exceptionally good value for money. And once again it can act as a pacing device focusing the work of public officials in making sure the city is in its best possible shape for receiving another wave of new visitors.
Glasgow has made its way into the world’s Top 10 sporting cities with all the business benefits this can bring. These European Sports Championships will help us stay there.