The National Ice Skating Association (NISA) is bidding to bring one of the biggest and most prestigious annual skating events in the world to the UK for the first time in almost 20 years.
NISA has submitted a bid in partnership with Glasgow City Council, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, EventScotland and UK Sport to host the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017 in Glasgow. The event would be part of UK Sport’s £27 million National Lottery funded Gold Event Series, which aims to create a Stage to Inspire by bringing 70 of the world’s top sporting events to the UK by 2019, reaching around 2.5 million spectators.
A decision by the International Skating Union (ISU) is expected to be made after the organisation’s congress taking place in Dublin from 9 to 13 June.
Bringing the World Championships to the UK would enhance the new investment that NISA is making into developing talent and growing participation.
Liz Nicholl, UK Sport Chief Executive said: “UK Sport is delighted to be working in partnership with NISA, Glasgow and EventScotland to bid for the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017. We have been working hard over the last 18 months to be in a position to present a proposal to the ISU that is not only exciting and innovative, but which also has the development of Ice Skating within the UK at its core. The ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017 being bid for as part of UK Sport’s Gold Event Series demonstrates our continuing significant commitment to winter sports following the unprecedented success of Sochi 2014 where our athletes provided so many inspirational performances.”
Nick Sellwood, chief executive of NISA, which is the national governing body responsible for the development of the sport throughout Great Britain and Northern Ireland, said: “The ISU World Figure Skating Championships were last held in the UK in 1995 in Birmingham, so it would be fantastic to bring this prestigious championship to Glasgow.
“It is one of the largest annual ice skating events in the world attracting more than 170 skaters from almost 40 countries in a superb showcase of figure skating.
“Our bid comes on the back of the hugely successful ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2012 which we hosted in Sheffield. We hope to build on this with the staging of the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017.”
If successful, the ISU’s flagship event will be held in the new state-of-the-art SSE Hydro. As the biggest indoor sport and entertainment venue in Scotland, it will provide a campus-based Championship with all athlete accommodation, training and competition rinks on one site.
The 12,000-seater SSE Hydro will host 2014 Commonwealth Games events and the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships.
Men, Ladies, Pairs and Ice Dance couples from all over the world would travel to Glasgow to compete. It would be the first time the event has ever been held in Scotland.
Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “We’re proud to submit our bid to bring the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017 to Glasgow.
“As one of the world’s top sporting cities, our strategic investment of some £300 million in sporting infrastructure has strengthened our reputation for winning and delivering world-class events, creating a vibrant stage for international athletes to perform at elite level.
“The next few years are shaping up to be hugely exciting for the city as we get ready to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships, adding to our extensive sporting events portfolio.
“As a joint bid comprising strong partnership working and secured investment at local, national and UK government level, Glasgow is committed to delivering the best ever ISU World Figure Skating Championships and we would be delighted to welcome competitors and spectators to the city in 2017.”
Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Scotland is the perfect stage for major events, and the SSE Hydro would be a fantastic venue for the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017. We have an outstanding track record for delivery in Scotland, and that has been achieved through strong partnerships at national and international level. We have an exciting and engaging bid, backed up by robust plans and a wealth of experience developed from some of the biggest events in world sport.”