Glasgow & West Scotland

Hampden Park ready for 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games

Hampden Park Image copyright PA
Image caption The transformed Hampden will host almost 50 track and field events

Work has been completed to transform Scotland's national football stadium into an athletics venue in time for next month's Commonwealth Games.

The finished Hampden Park venue will be the focal point for nearly 50 track and field disciplines, contested by more than 1,000 athletes, over seven days.

The stadium's surface was raised almost two metres to give it the width and length for an athletics track.

Eight rows of seats were also removed to accommodate the track.

An infield complete with freshly-cut grass sits on a temporary deck made up of 1,000 base panels supported by in excess of 6,000 steel stilts.

Organiser Glasgow 2014 opened up the venue to media on Wednesday to show the scale of the work.

'Spectacular transformation'

Chief executive David Grevemberg 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."

The stadium will accommodate a crowd of over 40,000 athletics fans while organisers expect the Games to be watched by a worldwide TV audience of more than one billion people.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Team Scotland athlete Eilish McColgan tested the new running track at Hampden

Unveiling the new-look arena, Olympic steeplechaser and Team Scotland athlete Eilish McColgan, daughter of former 10,000m world champion Liz McColgan, said: "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.

"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 crowd 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."

Commonwealth Games and Sport Secretary Shona Robison said: "This new athletics track is truly fantastic and another excellent example of how ready we are for these Games. This completes an amazing transformation of Hampden Park.

"I am also very pleased that there is work ongoing to ensure that the running tracks will be relocated after the Games, providing a valuable legacy and, hopefully, encouraging many more future Scottish athletes."

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