GIRDER by girder, the venues for Glasgow 2014 are emerging from swaths of ground which long languished as derelict land or brownfield sites. Here, with the help of aerial photography, Martyn McLaughlin charts the remarkable progress being made for the Commonwealth Games in Scotland’s biggest city and beyond
ALREADY ESTABLISHED PRE-GAMES
WHILE a number of new, purpose-built venues are being created for Glasgow 2014, organisers are also making use of the rich sporting infrastructure in the city and beyond. The three main football stadiums in Glasgow, for example, will play a prominent role in the Commonwealth Games.
Hampden Park, the home of Scottish football, will host the athletics competitions and the closing ceremony of the Games.
In order to transform the site by May 2014, an innovative building technique known as “solid in-fill” will raise the playing surface at Hampden from its current level by over one-and-a-half metres, so that the pitch is not removed. The Mount Florida stadium, which will have its capacity reduced from 52,000 to around 46,000, will also stage the start and finish of the marathon.
In the Govan area, Ibrox, home to Rangers will be the stage for the rugby sevens event, while Celtic Park will host the opening ceremony on 23 July, 2014.
The vast SECC complex on the banks of the River Clyde will serve as the largest single cluster of venues for the games. In addition to The Hydro arena, the Clyde Audtorium – known by Glaswegians as the Armadillo – will host the weightlifting and powerlifting competitions.
The SECC’s main exhibition halls will host judo, wrestling, and preliminary rounds of the netball event, as well as serving as a media hub for the world’s broadcasters and press.
Further afield, Strathclyde Country Park on the city’s south-eastern fringe, will host the triathlon competition, while the Barry Buddon Shooting Centre, near Carnoustie, will host the shooting events.
ATHLETES’ VILLAGE - NEW – EARLY 2014
THE purpose-built village that will be home to 6,500 athletes and team officials during Glasgow 2014 looks like a construction site from above, but work is well underway at the vast facility in the East End of Glasgow.
A combined heat and power plant for one of Europe’s largest regeneration projects is close to completion, while the first of the 700 houses that will be a home from home for the competitors is rising out of the ground.
The village site, which is being developed by Glasgow City Council and City Legacy, a private sector consortium, is arguably the most ambitious construction project designed to leave a built legacy after Glasgow 2014. Preparatory land work began on the 35-hectare site as far back as August 2009, and the entire village is scheduled to be completed by early 2014.
After the Games, the village will be further developed to become a residential area, comprising a total of 1,400 homes – 300 of which will be available for social rental – as well as a 120-bed care home for the elderly.
COMMONWEALTH SPORTS ARENA – NEW – OCTOBER 2012
THE £113m arena in the Dalmarnock area of Glasgow’s East End will be one of the largest facilities of its kind in Europe. A flexible community arena with 12 badminton courts, it will also boast three sports halls with seating for 5,000 spectators, along with dance and fitness studios, external multi-court areas, and hospitality suites. It will also house the offices for sportscotland.
A top-class 200-metre indoor athletics track will also be available at the site if required, thanks to a hydraulics system, and it is expected the venue will host the Aviva Indoor Athletics events ordinarily hosted in the city’s Kelvin Hall.
Construction work on the facility, also known as the National Indoor Sports Arena, began in June 2010, and it is due to open in October.
SIR CHRIS HOY VELODROME – NEW – OCTOBER 2012
NAMED after Britain’s most successful Olympian, hopes are high that Sir Chris Hoy and other Scots cycling stars will blaze to glory in the new purpose-built velodrome in the East End of Glasgow, opposite Celtic Park.
The 250 metre-long track, designed by Ralph Schuerrmann, will be officially opened in October, before it stages its first competition the following month with the second round of the 2012/13 Track Cycling UCI World Cup. While Sir Chris is not expected to compete at the event, several of his colleagues from Team GB will make an appearance.
The velodrome, situated next to the Commonwealth Sports Arena in Dalmarnock, has a permanent viewing capacity of 2,500, and can house an additional 2,000 temporary seats. Such is the widespread appeal of cycling following the British success at London 2012, the temporary seating will be used during November’s World Cup event.
THE HYDRO – NEW – SEPTEMBER 2013
THE 12,500-seat venue in the SECC precinct is due to open in September 2013, and will host the gymnastics and netball events. Earlier this year, the first precast concrete seating terrace units were installed in an ampitheatre-style arena, designed by Sir Norman Foster. All roads, utilities, piling, and substructure work is also complete, and the first seats will be installed by the end of this year. As well as offering a new concert venue for the city’s music fans, the facility has already been chosen to host the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships.
GLASGOW GREEN HOCKEY CENTRE – NEW – SUMMER 2013
DUE to be completed in summer 2013, the facility at Glasgow Green will have two new dedicated synthetic hockey pitches created for the Games. The site, which is owned by Glasgow City Council, will feature 5,000 seats for the duration of the event, with the capacity being reduced to 500 after Glasgow 2014. It will also serve as the new national centre for hockey in Scotland, with offices for the officials of Scottish Hockey.
SCOTSTOUN LEISURE CENTRE – REFURBISHED – EARLY 2013
THE campus, in the Scotstoun area of the city, will host the table tennis and squash competitions at Glasgow 2014, with one glass-walled show court for the latter event and up to 20 tables for the former. Work on the squash centre at Scotstoun is under way, after planning approval was granted for six new courts at the site, which will become a permanent squash centre after the Games.
The complex, due to be completed early next year, has been significantly redeveloped in recent years, with an £18m premier outdoor athletics facility capable of housing 5,000 spectators opening in 2010. The centre has also been home to the Glasgow Warriors rugby club since last August.
ROYAL COMMONWEALTH POOL – REFURBISHED - OPEN
DESPITE delays to the project after the discovery of asbestos at the site, the refurbished pool was officially reopened to the public in March by former Olympic gold medallist David Wilkie, who trained at the venue as a youngster. It followed a comprehensive two-and-a-half year project which cost £37.5m and took 6.5 million hours of labour to ensure the facility is of world-class standard for 2014. The venue will host the diving events for the Games, and was used by the British swimming squad as the venue for the final training camp in July before the London 2012 Olympics.
CATHKIN BRAESMOUNTAIN BIKE TRAILS – NEW – SPRING 2013
THE venue to the south of Glasgow will be the city’s first international-standard mountain biking course. Owned by Glasgow City Council and South Lanarkshire Council, the course has been designed by Phil Saxena, the man responsible for the track used during the Beijing Olympics four years ago and numerous other acclaimed tracks around the world.
Ground works have started on the 5.8km course, with testing and further development to follow. It is hoped that the trail will open to the public next spring.
TORYGLEN REGIONAL FOOTBALL CENTRE – NEW – OPEN
AN indoor and outdoor football centre, the facility in the shadow of Hampden Park will be used as an athletics training venue during Glasgow 2014. The £17m centre opened in 2009, and is proving of signiﬁcant beneﬁt to football teams in and around the city – SPL sides among them– allowing training during harsh winter weather.
KELVINGROVE LAWN BOWLS – REFURBISHED – OPEN PARTIALLY
THE venue has been undergoing maintenance this summer, with only limited play allowed, but work to revamp the greens is now complete. Work on the pavilion has received planning permission, and is due to begin in earnest next month. The site will be finished by May 2013.
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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