Caledonia Gladiators, the Glasgow-based basketball team, has revealed that it is investing more than £20m in a new stadium project.
The announcement now marks the single greatest contribution to the sport in Scotland’s history.
Steve and Alison Timoney, owners of the club – which is the country’s only professional basketball franchise – broke the news ahead of the men’s team’s first BBL Trophy Final in nine years, in a clash against Cheshire Phoenix on 26 March at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena.
Gareth Murray, Caledonia Gladiators Head Coach, commented: “We’re really proud to be announcing our new plans for the club. Given the current pressures of working between The Emirates Arena for the men’s team, and The Lagoon in Paisley for the women’s team, it was vital we found a permanent home, so this is a really positive step forward.
“It’s such an exciting time for everyone involved with the Caledonia Gladiators, and I know our team are all looking forward to playing in the new arena. All our focus now is on winning the BBL Trophy later this month, which would be a huge moment for the supporters and everyone at the club.”
The two-stage stadium development will see the men and women’s teams initially move into an 1,800-seater temporary stadium, based at PlaySport Scotland leisure complex in East Kilbride, later this summer.
In 2024, work will then begin on the main project, a new purpose built 6,000-seater arena and five-court practice and community facility at the site, which is due to be completed in 2026.
The franchise has outlined that as the popularity of the sport grows across the country, it has ‘ambitious plans’ for the project, hoping to eventually see the stadium as the home of Team GB.
Additionally, with the development of a training academy, the club aims to welcome young players from across Scotland.
Caledonia Gladiators Owner, Steve Timoney, added: “This is a hugely exciting moment for the future of the Caledonia Gladiators. Our new base at PlaySport will go on to become one of the finest basketball facilities in Europe once it is completed in 2026.
“It includes plans for a class-leading academy, which will train youngsters from Scotland and across the world with the aim of developing them into elite players.
“We believe our new facility has the potential to help Caledonia Gladiators become one of the most successful men and women’s teams in the BBL and WBBL, with ambitions to play at the top level in Europe. It’s a great time for the club, with our BBL Trophy Final match round the corner, and we’re all hugely looking forward to that match.”
Furthermore, the club has also reported that there have been talks for the facility to be used for music concerts and conferences, ‘filling the gap’ in Glasgow for mid to large size arenas.
Miguel Angel Ortega Marco, Caledonia Gladiators Women’s Head Coach, also explained that the developments are ‘great news’ for the women’s team and the wider club.
“The new facilities will be hugely impressive, and a real boost for the club in attracting the best talent to both our women’s and men’s teams,” Marco concluded.