European Championships 2018 in Berlin and Glasgow attracts 1 million people
Berlin and Glasgow saw huge attendances for the seven sports that formed part of the inaugural multisport European Championships, which confirmed the importance and impact of this innovative new event on the sporting calendar.
Berlin 2018 attracts more than 500,000 athletics fans
For seven days this month, Berlin was the focus of attention for sports fans around the world as the German capital hosted a European Athletics Championships of superlatives.
Germany's biggest sporting event of 2018 was not only a huge success in terms of sport, but also in terms of atmosphere and entertainment.
An estimated 360,000 people filled Berlin's Olympic Stadium and another 150,000 were at the Breitscheidplatz in the heart of Berlin to help create a unique atmosphere throughout the city.
European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen said: "For me, Berlin 2018 was the best European Athletics Championships ever.”
Berlin's State Secretary for Sport Aleksander Dzembritzki added: "We are very, very satisfied with the European Championships. There is nothing to complain about.
“We can look back on a whole week full of emotions and goose-bump moments. Whether in the stadium or at the Breitscheidplatz, there were always fantastic emotional occasions."
Together with the six other sports staged in Glasgow, the 24th European Athletics Championships were part of the first multisport European Championships.
European Mile sets the standard for innovative
Medal ceremonies were not celebrated in the stadium but at the specially constructed European Mile with the GENERALI ARENA at the Breitscheidplatz in the centre of the city and medallists were heralded with a specially composed fanfare.
The 3,000 visitors each night at the GENERALI ARENA created a very special atmosphere that no athlete had ever experienced before. In bringing athletics and athletes into the heart of the city, the local organisers made a massive impact with their innovative ideas and presentation.
The German team also was inspired by the home crowd and celebrated its best result in 20 years with 19 medals including six winners of continental titles: Gesa Felicitas Krause (3000m steeplechase), Malaika Mihambo (long jump), Christin Hussong (javelin), Mateusz Przybylko (high jump), Thomas Röhler (javelin) and Arthur Abele (decathlon).
Half a million people champion Glasgow 2018 – Inaugural European Championships an ‘incredible success’
More than 500,000 people, double the projected number, attended an exhilarating sport session, a Festival 2018 offering or visited the hugely popular George Square and GO LIVE! at The Green live sites in Glasgow.
Final attendance figures for the inaugural multisport championships show 138,000 tickets were issued, packing each of the 12 venues with roaring crowds to support each of the sports, all the elite athletes and the newly-crowned European Champions.
The ticketed sporting sessions included swimming at Tollcross, track cycling at the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome, diving at Edinburgh’s Commonwealth Pool, golf at PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles and gymnastics at the SEE Hydro.
The numerous free elite events also attracted great attendances.
An estimated 57,000 people turned out to watch the men’s and women’s road races and cycling time trial events, and mountain biking at Cathkin Braes and open water swimming at Loch Lomond & The Trossachs.
George Square, the beating heart of the European Championships, attracted tens of thousands of people through hugely popular events such as the mass ceilidh, the ‘Masseoke’ – with hundreds of people crooning karaoke in unison – a first-ever live link up orchestral concert enjoyed simultaneously by audiences in Glasgow’s George Square and the European Mile in Berlin while almost 3,000 people danced the night away to the beats of Electro giants Orbital.
Families flocked to GO LIVE! at the Green with thousands going through the gates daily to try the ‘Have a Go’ activity zones, enjoy the food stalls or bump into sporting heroes who regularly visited the site including Carly Booth, Karen Bennett and Paul Lawrie.
Merchant City Festival joined the celebrations on each weekend of the Championships, in colourful style with street performances, music, dance and an array of activities for children and families, alongside lively markets and a curated selection of street food.
The colourful Festival 2018 Carnival Procession took to the streets on the first Saturday, with more than 700 participants creating a spectacular procession through the city centre.
The event wouldn’t have happened without the warm welcome from the 3600 Team 2018 volunteers, which saw representatives from every local authority in Scotland – as well as 16 other countries across Europe, Australasia, and the USA.
The volunteers ensured the warmest of welcomes to European athletes, officials, the world’s media, visitors and spectators – from the arrivals gate at Glasgow Airport to directing sports fans on the city’s streets.
Championships Director Colin Hartley said: “I want to say thank you - to the athletes, volunteers, spectators, media, officials and amazing home crowds.
“A major marker of success will be the final broadcast numbers, we know the vast potential there is to showcase Scotland across Europe and beyond. However, the levels of competition, cheering and celebrating are all immediate indicators of the inaugural European Championships being an incredible success.”
Culture and Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “This has been an exciting sporting celebration delivering seven sports in two cities across two nations, uniting sporting federations in a way that has never been done before and builds on our success in hosting major events. We have again shown that we can use sport and cultural opportunities to showcase our nation, build on the successful Scotland is Now campaign and work with international partners.
“I would like to thank all the competitors, teams and spectators, both at home and around the world, for joining us in this ambitious programme of sporting and cultural events. Our incredible volunteers deserve special thanks as they have been the heart and soul of the Championships and offered a warm welcome to Glasgow.”
Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken commented: “These Championships have been a wonderful experience for Glasgow – but from spectators to volunteers, we can also be really proud to say our city has played a massive part in making them such a great success.
“We have seen top-class sport in great venues, with typically loud and enthusiastic crowds – and a spectacular festival that attracted tens of thousands of people every day. Along with our friends in Berlin, we have given our neighbours from all over Europe a warm welcome and put on a brilliant show. Glasgow has looked – and sounded – amazing.”
The attendance figures don’t include athletes, media, officials, the thousands of people that experienced or performed in the wider Festival 2018 programme out with the live sites, Tri in the Park, volunteers, sponsors, workforce, residents, businesses and visitors to the city.