GLASGOW 2014 chief executive David Grevemberg is confident his organising committee will deliver a recession-proof and legacy-rich Commonwealth Games as the countdown to the opening ceremony reaches 500 days.
Grevemberg admits the bleak economic climate has impacted the long-term strategy for the Games, making it increasingly vital that they are staged in a climate which promotes practicality over ostentatiousness.
And, while Delhi’s last-minute scramble to showcase a Games of almost Olympic proportions almost cost them dear in 2010, Grevemberg is adamant Glasgow’s more low-key approach is one which retains the spirit and ideals of the Commonwealth.
Grevemberg, speaking ahead of tomorrow’s 500 Days To Go landmark, said: “We will make no apologies for saying that we are not the Olympics or the Paralympics, but we are the Commonwealth Games and in that respect we will do things a bit differently.
“It is important we have a legacy consciousness in terms of making sure these Games are seen as a launching pad rather than a landing strip for sports and sports participation in the city. In this age of austerity there is also a cost-consciousness – with significant investment from the public sector we have the absolute responsibility to ensure we are doing everything we can to be diligent and prudent, and smart.
“And it is absolutely crucial that as well as making Commonwealth history we make history for Glasgow, which has a reputation of being very prudent in how it manages its investments, and in how it continues to look to the future and redefine itself.”
Glasgow will certainly not be leaving preparations to the last minute, with all venues on track to be completed – either built or embellished – and the majority staging international competitions before the end of 2013.
It will represent a major improvement on the build-up to the Delhi Games, which was blighted by chaos and confusion, with many athletes arriving at their Village only to find their residences incomplete.
Such was the reaction to Delhi’s staging of the Games that it lent some momentum to those who argue the Commonwealth Games is an outdated concept.
It is a notion Grevemberg rejects. “We have the whole traditional connection and shared heritage between Glasgow and the Commonwealth, and whether connected through trade or industry it is the nature of our journey that defines us,” he said.