Glasgow 2014 today (Wednesday, 4 June) revealed the city’s spectacular new world-class athletics arena following the stunning transformation of Hampden Park.
The centrepiece at the heart of the Games, Scotland’s National Stadium will stage some of the most thrilling moments of the competition, with more than a thousand athletes going all out for gold and glory in over 48 events in seven days.
Hampden Park is already a legendary venue and scene of many international moments of intense sporting drama but months of construction were required to prepare it to host Athletics at next month’s Commonwealth Games.
The stadium’s stunning technologically-led transformation is now complete and features a revolutionary solution which has raised its surface by almost two metres, gaining the width and length required for an IAAF-approved Athletics track.
Along with the track, a full infield complete with freshly-cut grass sits on a temporary deck made up of 1,000 base panels which are supported by over 6,000 structural steel stilts. The recognisable Mondo track surface has been laid and lanes marked with the Glasgow 2014 start and finish lines painted in position.
The finished works, which saw approximately eight rows of seats removed to accommodate the wider field of play, revealed for the first time the close proximity that crowds of fans will have to the intense sporting action.
This is the first time this technology has been used on this scale to deliver a world-class Athletics event and it will enable elite athletes from 71 nations and territories to battle it out in front of a packed crowd of over 40,000 in the stadium and more than one billion TV viewers worldwide.
With IAAF approval, the approach is already being termed the ‘Glasgow solution’ in worldwide Athletics circles, with widespread interest in the potential it creates for a range of venues to host world-class athletics events.
The track works at Hampden and Lesser Hampden have been successfully undertaken by Glasgow-based construction company Malcolm Construction, Official Construction Provider for Glasgow 2014.
Olympic Steeplechaser and Team Scotland athlete Eilish McColgan said:
“There’s less than 50 days to go until Glasgow 2014 and standing here in Hampden definitely makes it seem real. The transformation is amazing and I think the reaction of a lot of the athletes will simply be ‘wow’.
“My mum has told me all about the unbelievable atmosphere and overwhelming support of the crowd when she competed and won gold in front of a home crowd at the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh and I know that’s a standout memory of all her races throughout the years.
“I’m just so excited at the prospect of competing in a home Games and she’s told me the support I’ll have from the Scottish crown as a Scottish athlete will be on another level.
“Having the ‘Hampden Roar’ behind me as I push down the home straight will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I can’t wait to give it my all and do my very best.”
Michael Cavanagh, Chairman of Commonwealth Games Scotland, said:
“It is hugely exciting to the spectacular change of Scotland’s National Stadium complete in such good time for the Games. Hampden, with its bold, innovative transformation to an Athletics venue is truly amazing and I know all our track and field athletes will be thrilled to step out into this magnificent Athletics arena filled with home support.”