The Caledonia Gladiators have announced plans for a new £20m stadium in East Kilbride that aims to be the “finest basketball facility in Europe” and potentially home of Team GB.
Owners of the club, which is Scotland’s only professional basketball franchise, say it will be the biggest contribution to the sport in the country’s history.
Currently playing at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, where they are set for a sell-out 6,000 crowd at the BBL Trophy Final on Sunday, they will move to the new arena in around three years.
Steve Timoney and wife Alison, owners of the club, made the announcement ahead of the men’s team’s first BBL Trophy Final in nine years, when they will face off against Cheshire Phoenix.
The two-stage stadium development will see the Caledonia Gladiators men and women, initially move into an 1,800-seater temporary stadium, based at PlaySport Scotland leisure complex 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 the country and the number of registered basketball players in Scotland continues to grow the Gladiators have ambitious plans for the project, including aspirations to see the stadium become the finest basketball facility in Europe and ultimately the home of Team GB.
With the development of a “world-class” training academy, the club aim to welcome young players from across Scotland and around the globe to state-of-the-art gym facilities, accommodation area and physio suites.
Gladiators owner 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.”
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 size arenas.
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.”
The Gladiators secured their place in the BBL Trophy Final after defeating Derby Trailblazers 83-65 earlier this month.
It is the first time they have reached the final since they lost 83-76 to Worcester Wolves in 2013/14.
It is also a chance for the club to win their first silverware since they won the BBL Playoffs in 2002/3.