Glasgow’s recent sporting journey has been nothing short of remarkable. Fresh from delivering the best-ever Commonwealth Games in 2014 and the 2015 FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships, Glasgow was named as one of the world’s top five sporting cities - and it has maintained its place in the top five in the updated global rankings in 2018.

The city’s success at the SportBusiness 2018 Ultimate Sport Cities Awards also included retaining the crown as Best Small City for hosting sports events. The awards, which are held every two years, are the internationally recognised and longest-established rankings of the world’s top sports hosts.

Glasgow’s success is built on its international events programme, its continued investment in world-class facilities such as the Emirates Arena and its commitment to increasing participation and securing a lasting legacy for future generations. Close to £200m has been spent on new and improved venues since 2009, as part of a citywide £1bn investment in infrastructure.

Thanks to the city’s Sports Event Strategy a host of international events have been secured and delivered in recent years. These include the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix – the world’s number one indoor athletics event, the IPC Swimming World Championships and the Davis Cup in tennis.

Glasgow’s reputation was further enhanced after the 2015 FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships, when FIG President Professor Bruno Grandi said the event was “even better than the Olympic Games”. The event attracted attendances of around 80,000 spectators, generating an economic impact of £4.9m for Glasgow and £4.4m for Scotland.

And there is much to look forward to, with the city set to host an extensive array of events over the coming years. On the horizon are the 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships, the European Short Course Swimming Championships in 2019 and the Men’s World Curling Championship in 2020. The city is also a host for the UEFA European Championships competition in 2020. Glasgow will also continue to hold regular gymnastics, cycling and swimming championships and mass participation sport events, such as the Great Scottish Run and Women's 10k.

At the same time as hosting world-class events, the number of people in the city taking part in sport is now at an all-time high as Glasgow continues to see the benefits of investment in new and improved facilities. The sport sector also supports around 10,000 jobs in the city and contributes approximately £370m to Glasgow’s thriving economy.


  • Glasgow currently ranked in the top five cities in the world for hosting sports events in the SportBusiness Ultimate Sports City Awards
  • Glasgow was named the third best destination to visit in TripAdvisor’s Top Ten UK destinations in 2013
  • Scottish tourism supports 29,000 jobs and the visitor economy is worth £11m
  • Glasgow is home to more than 100 cultural organisations and is one of only 11 UNESCO Cities of Music worldwide
  • Scotland has been voted the world’s Best Cinematic Destination by USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards 2015.

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