Timoney invests in £20m Gladiators arena
Scottish businessman Steve Timoney and his wife Alison are investing in a £20 million basketball arena for the Caledonia Gladiators.
It will be the largest single investment in the game’s history and will see the club initially move into an 1,800-seater temporary stadium, based at PlaySport Scotland leisure complex in East Kilbride, later this summer.
Work will begin next year on the main project – a purpose built 6,000-seater arena and five-court practice and community facility at the site, which is due to be completed in 2026.
The couple last year acquired Caledonia Pride, the women’s franchise, and later the Glasgow Rocks to form the Caledonia Gladiators, Scotland’s only professional basketball club with both teams competing in the British Basketball Leagues.
The men’s team will compete in the club’s first BBL Trophy Final in nine years against Cheshire Phoenix on Sunday 26 March in front of a sell out 6,000 crowd at their current home, the Emirates in Glasgow.
Caledonia Gladiators wants to see the stadium become the finest facility for basketball in Europe and ultimately the home of Team GB.
It will house a world-class training academy, with the aim of welcoming young players from across Scotland and all around the globe, as well as a dedicated accommodation area, gym facilities and physio suites.
Talks are also under way to see the facility used for music concerts and conferences, filling the gap in Glasgow for mid to large size arenas.
Mr Timoney, the founder of stock market quoted Smart Metering Systems, 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.”
Gareth Murray, Caledonia Gladiators head coach, said: “We’re really proud to be announcing our new plans for the club today.
“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.”
Miguel Angel Ortega Marco, Caledonia Gladiators Women’s Head Coach, added: “This is great news for the women’s team and the wider club.
“The new facilities will be hugely impressive, and a real boost for the club in attracting the best talent to both our women’s and men’s teams.