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Glasgow 2014 Unveils Hampden Park’s Innovative Transformation

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On Wednesday, Glasgow 2014 revealed the city’s new world-class athletics arena following the transformation of Hampden Park.

The centrepiece at the heart of the Commonwealth 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.

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.”

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 technologically-led transformation is now complete and features an innovative 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.

David Grevemberg, Chief Executive of Glasgow 2014, said, “The spectacular transformation of Hampden Park from iconic football stadium to world-class athletics venue is an achievement of which Glasgow and Scotland can be justifiably proud. This is a world-first solution in a great venue, creating an excellent sporting field of play and we can’t wait for the elite athletes of the Commonwealth to come and experience the thrill of competing here. The completion of Hampden marks a very special moment in our journey to the starting line of what will be the biggest and best sporting festival Scotland has ever hosted. Together with our partners, our volunteers and hundreds of thousands of spectators, we aim to make this this best Commonwealth Games ever! More than a thousand athletes from around the Commonwealth will compete here. We’ll have 50 different medal ceremonies. And we’ll bring the curtain down on Glasgow 2014 in Hampden too, as we hand over to the Gold Coast, host city the 2018 Commonwealth Games. We’re incredibly proud to reveal Hampden Park as the world-class athletics arena for Glasgow 2014 and, with the countdown to the Games in the home straight, we’re ready to say: ‘Bring it on!’.”

See other recent news regarding: Interviews, Pictures, Videos, Commonwealth Games, Scotland, VisitScotland, Glasgow, Hampden Park

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