Latest landmark moment in exciting build-up to Games.
The centrepiece at the heart of the Games being transformed to host 48 Athletics events and the home-from-home for the 4,500 athletes who will compete at Glasgow 2014 were today (Wednesday, 12 March) revealed by Jessica Ennis-Hill, Olympic gold medallist and one of Glasgow 2014’s most high-profile ambassadors, and Team Scotland star and Commonwealth silver medallist Eilidh Child.
Hampden Park, Scotland’s National Stadium, is already a legendary venue and scene of many international moments of intense sporting drama. As the venue for Athletics at this summer’s Commonwealth Games, it 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.
Glasgow 2014 today revealed the stadium’s stunning new look as the transformation from the home of Scottish football into a world-class Athletics arena moves closer to completion. A revolutionary solution has raised the stadium surface by almost two metres, gaining the width and length required for an IAAF-approved Athletics track.
The work has been a closely guarded secret since it began back in December, but a full infield complete with freshly-covered grass now sits on a temporary deck, made up of 1,200 base panels supported by over 6,000 structural steel stilts. The recognisable red running track surface will be laid shortly.
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 70 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 and its legacy could live on at future events.
Also revealed today was the innovatively designed Athletes’ Village, Scotland’s first large-scale carbon neutral housing development, as it begins its fit out for the Games.
From tomorrow, it will be four months exactly until the first athletes arrive in Glasgow and move in to their temporary Games time home-from-home in the east end of the city. The village will host 6,500 athletes and officials in total and form a community like no other at the very heart of Glasgow 2014.
The village isn’t just a bed for every athlete, it’s their dining area, their medical facility, their retail zone and their recreational space where the athletes can relax and unwind away from the intensity of competition and training. It’s where they can share experiences with roommates and teammates, make new friends and learn more about the countries that will send their teams to Glasgow from across the globe.
Jessica and Eilidh, who roomed together at the London 2012 Olympic Games, gave both revolutionary venues their seal of approval during an exclusive preview.
Glasgow 2014 Official Ambassador, Jessica Ennis-Hill CBE, said:
“Looking at the amazing Athletics arena that is taking shape at Hampden Park, I am sure Glasgow 2014 will be a Commonwealth Games like no other. I know from the Olympic Games in London the importance of a home crowd and how much of a boost that wonderful support gave to the athletes.
“Scotland is famed for a passion for sport. I’ve been hearing today about the ‘Hampden Roar’ which I’m sure, combined with a fantastic looking standard of Athletes’ Village, will give those competing at Glasgow 2014 an experience they will never forget.”
Eilidh Child, Team Scotland star and Commonwealth silver medallist in the 400m hurdles, said:
“I’ve seen Hampden in its football format many times, but I never thought I’d see it like this. It’s a spectacular transformation and I’m hugely excited to be competing here this summer. The thought of pushing down the home straight in front of a packed crowd inside our national stadium gives me goosebumps.
“Today is the first time I’ve been inside the Athletes’ Village and it’s looking great. There’s so much open space and it’s nice to see the furniture from London 2012 being reused too. The Village is such an important area for the athletes and from what I’ve seen Glasgow could certainly be setting a new standard. I can’t wait until the teams all start moving in and bring the Village to life.”
David Grevemberg, Chief Executive of Glasgow 2014, said:
“Both of these crucial Games venues are stunning in look, revolutionary in design and the embodiment of the athlete centred, sports focused approach that we’ve taken to delivering the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
“The solution we’re implementing to transform Scotland’s National Stadium is a world-first on such a scale and a fantastic model for future events, while the Athletes’ Village was designed with the needs of sportsmen and women at its heart. It will provide a great home-from-home Games community in four months’ time.”
Jon Doig, Chief Executive of Commonwealth Games Scotland and Team Scotland's Chef de Mission, said:
“It is hugely exciting to see both of these Games venues coming to fruition 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.
“We are also delighted with the facilities offered in the Village and the specific location we have agreed for Team Scotland.”
Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, Shona Robison said:
“Hampden is being transformed for these Games and the raised playing surface is a fantastic example of innovation. It shows how we are making the best use of existing facilities to deliver world class athletics in Glasgow.
“I am delighted that Eilidh Child and Jessica Ennis-Hill, both fantastic athletes, are here today to give their seal of approval to the new Athletics venue and also to see the Athletes’ Village. All of this further demonstrates that we’re on track for a spectacular Commonwealth Games.”
Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said:
“Today provides an insight into how the final preparations for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games are progressing. The innovation shown in Glasgow in getting ready for the Games is perfectly illustrated in the state of the art work being done at Hampden Park and the Athletes’ Village. We can all be proud of what is being done to allow us to welcome the world in fantastic style this summer.”
For more information about the legacy from the Commonwealth Games visit http://www.legacy2014.co.uk/