New arena is a power player

The £125 million Hydro Arena being built at the SECC will attract some of the biggest bands and events in the world, according to city leaders.

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As exclusively revealed in later editions of yesterday's Evening Times, energy company Scottish Hydro is spending a massive £15m over the next decade to have its name on the venue.

Glasgow City Marketing Bureau chief executive Scott Taylor said: "The investment in Glasgow dwarfs other deals done in the UK, but it is what Scottish and Southern Energy think having their name on the arena in Glasgow is worth."

Scottish Hydro is the trading name of Scottish and Southern Energy. The official name will be the Scottish Hydro Arena, although organisers hope it will be popularly dubbed as simply The Hydro.

Mr Taylor added: "It is major sponsorship in European terms and is a very significant investment in Glasgow.

"The company will see thousands of people going through the doors of the arena on a daily basis so the awareness of Hydro in the Scottish market place will pay dividends to the company.

"The venue will be the diamond in Glasgow's crown.

"It will be one of the most sought after venues for artists because not only will it be a stunning venue, but it will have a Glasgow and Scottish audience, which creates something quite spectacular."

AEG Facilities, one of the leading sports and entertainment companies in the world, has been appointed by the SECC as the sponsorship partner for the arena, which will open in 2013.

It will attempt to repeat the successful sponsorship deals it secured at London's O2 Arena, which enjoys partnerships with major brands, including Coca-Cola, Adidas, NatWest, Lastminute.com and Sky.

Mr Taylor said: "AEG are the people who put performers into London O2 so London O2 and Glasgow will be sisters. What appears in the O2 will appear in Glasgow and no other stadium in the UK has that arrangement so it is going to be a challenging time for other cities."

Glasgow Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stuart Patrick said: "An indoor arena of this size will attract events and performers, both sporting and cultural, that were not previously a target.

This will very much increase Glasgow's potential on the international stage.

"We have already landed the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastic Championship and there will be many more such wins, with the value to Glasgow going far beyond the event itself both in value of prestige and in cash coming into the local economy."

Liz Buchanan, regional director for VisitScotland said: "This commitment to impressive annual investment by a major partner is real cause for celebration.

"Tourism is one of the biggest drivers of growth, and I am delighted to see such a confident, forward-looking investment in Glasgow."

Council leader Gordon Matheson said: "Glasgow has been transformed in recent years. For example, there are now more people employed in the tourism sector than were ever employed in shipbuilding and there were more international conference delegates in the city last year than anywhere else in the UK.

"The SECC contributes £397m a year to the city's economy and The Hydro is expected to inject a further £131m a year.

"Glasgow is already well known around the world for its ability to put on a show.

"But The Hydro will take that to a new level. It will be in the top five of indoor entertainment venues around the world, alongside the likes of Madison Square Garden in New York and London's O2.

"It will stage major events, like the Mobos in 2013, some of the events at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships.

"The Hydro will be a striking addition to the banks of the Clyde and, alongside other major regeneration projects, like the nearby Riverside Museum, make it clear that Glasgow is the place to be."

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