• Glasgow’s city and sporting venues have seen a rise in visitor numbers that have peaked beyond 17 million
• 12 per cent rise in sport venue attendences, while arts venues also record visitor increase
The opening of the Emirates Arena, which includes the new Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, in Glasgow contributed to a 12 per cent rise in attendances at sport venues alone as the city gears up to host next year’s Commonwealth Games.
Around 6.3 million people visited sports centres managed by Glasgow Life which published the figures in its annual review for 2012-13.
Glasgow Life runs Scotland’s biggest health and fitness network, the Glasgow Club, which saw membership rise 22 per cent to a record 29,000.
Visitor numbers were up at arts venues operated by the organisation, which include Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, The Burrell Collection, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and Riverside Museum.
Attendances at the 33 city libraries including the Mitchell, Europe’s largest public reference library, stood at 5.5 million.
Glasgow Life chairman Archie Graham, deputy leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “These figures prove, once again, that sport and culture are of huge importance to the people of Glasgow, and in maintaining our position as a world-class city.
“We’ve enjoyed record-breaking attendance figures and despite the massive economic challenges, none of our facilities have been closed.
“Glasgow is delivering on not only big ticket items, such as the Emirates Arena and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, but also on services which change lives, whether that be adult literacy or supporting those who face cancer or ill-health.”
Glasgow Life employs almost 3,100 staff and manages more than 150 venues.
Chief executive Bridget McConnell said: “Our staff, volunteers and our board all have a shared vision to ensure that visitors to, and citizens of, Glasgow get the very most out of life.
“We’re achieving that and while the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games are hugely significant, they are not an end point but a marker of the city’s ambition to realise Glasgow’s potential as a truly great city to live in and to visit.”