The two cities are to co-host the event over the next five years, while the annual Glasgow International Match is no more
The Sainsbury’s Indoor Grand Prix is to alternate between two venues in Birmingham and Glasgow over the next five years, while the annual Glasgow International Match has been removed from the British Athletics calendar.
Following this year’s Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham on February 21, the meeting will be co-hosted between 2016 and 2020 as the cities both also concentrate on hosting other athletics events in the coming years.
Birmingham is to stage the IAAF World Indoor Championships in 2018, while Glasgow hopes to host the European Indoor Championships in 2019. The 2016 Indoor Grand Prix will take place Glasgow and alternate from there.
British Athletics also confirmed that the Glasgow International Match – which has been a fixture in the UK athletics calendar since 1988 – will not be continuing, with this year’s event on January 24 having been the final edition.
“Following the construction of the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, and the extensive redevelopment of the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham, we are in the fortunate position of having two genuinely world-class indoor athletics venues capable of hosting events on this scale,” commented British Athletics chief executive Niels de Vos.
“With both cities keen to make the best use of their venues we are delighted to have developed an event strategy which offers both Birmingham and Glasgow the chance to host the sell-out Sainsbury’s Indoor GP and pursue our ambitions to bring the world’s best international championships to the UK.”
The Sainsbury’s Indoor Grand Prix forms part of British Athletics’ broadcast rights deal with the BBC which is set to bring live television coverage of the event through to at least 2020.
“This is a brilliant outcome for athletics,” said British Athletics’ major event director Cherry Alexander. “Glasgow has hosted the International Match so well over the years, and they were understandably keen after the Commonwealth Games to increase the profile of the event to the level that the Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham enjoyed.
“This means we will take world class indoor athletics to Scotland every other year for the immediate future. The increase in the quality of competitor fields, the competition programme and the profile will enhance both the spectator and television audience experience.
“It is also a great result for Birmingham who will be able to focus on delivering the world’s best ever indoor championships in 2018, safe in the knowledge that the world’s best Indoor Grand Prix will still reside within the UK.”
Sainsbury’s Indoor Grand Prix timetable
2016 – Glasgow
2017 – Birmingham
2018 – Glasgow (Birmingham hosting the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships)
2019 – Birmingham (Glasgow bidding to stage the 2019 European Indoor Championships)
2020 – Glasgow