The semi-final of the 2016 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group between will take place at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena from 16-18 September 2016 – and the host nation is upbeat about the benefits the event will bring.
The decision by the Lawn Tennis Association to host the tie between the Aegon GB team and Argentina follows Scotland’s successful hosting of Davis Cup matches last year.
“Scotland was delighted to host the Davis Cup first round and semi-final in 2015 and, on both occasions, the support at The Emirates proved why Scotland is the perfect stage for events of this magnitude,” Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events tells Host City.
“I have no doubt that this year’s semi-final against Argentina, which we are supporting through EventScotland’s International Programme, will be no different and expect tennis fans from across the UK and further afield to travel to Glasgow as Great Britain attempts to retain its Davis Cup title.”
The international appeal of the event is particularly attractive proposition for the host nation.
“For Scotland as host nation, and Glasgow at a local level, major occasions such as this are hugely valuable. The sell-out matches in 2015 saw a total attendance of more than 47,000, with a significant proportion of those people, 31% and 42% respectively, travelling from outside of Scotland. We expect similar interest in September’s fixture, meaning, again, Scotland is set to benefit from the associated economic impact that this influx of visitors brings.
“Additionally, for both Scotland and Glasgow, the prospect of staging such an important match means an increase in exposure across all media formats both at home and abroad. In terms of reinforcing Scotland’s capability in staging world-leading events and promoting Scotland as a tourist destination, raising the nation’s profile in this way is critical.”
Tennis, along with cricket golf, basketball and athletics, is attracting more participants. According to statistics released in July by SportScotland, sports participation has risen over the last two years, with sports club membership rising from 706,764 to 768,212 since 2013/14.
Scotland hosting the Davis Cup is set to increase this trend – particularly given that last year’s winners and Scottish brothers Andy and James Murray are currently on top form.
“The timing of the match lends itself to generating further legacy benefits by encouraging more young people to become involved in sport,” says Bush.
“After Andy Murray’s second victory at Wimbledon, Jamie Murray’s continued success as one of the world’s best doubles players and shortly following tennis in the Rio Olympics, we are confident the Davis Cup can further inspire youngsters to take up tennis and become more active. This is vital for the development of the sport in Scotland and in encouraging young Scots to lead healthier lifestyles.”