The two-stage venture will see the club initially move into an 1,800-seater temporary home, based at PlaySport Scotland leisure complex in East Kilbride, later this summer. In 2024, work will then begin on the main project, a new state-of-the-art purpose built 6,000-seater arena and five-court practice and community facility at the site, which is due to be completed in 2026.
As the popularity of the sport grows across Scotland, the Gladiators say they have ambitious plans for the project, including aspirations to see the stadium ultimately become the home of Team GB. Club owner Steve Timoney, a Glasgow-based businessman, said: “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.”
Gladiators men’s team play their first BBL Trophy Final in nine years when they face Cheshire Phoenix at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena in front of a sell-out 6,000 crowd later this month and head coach Gareth Murray said: “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.”
Talks are also under way to see the facility used for music concerts and conferences, filling the gap in Glasgow for mid-to-large-sized arenas.