WITH 30,000 rugby fans expected to make their way to Scotstoun Stadium for the inaugural Emirates Glasgow 7s, organisers of the tournament yesterday unveiled an improved transport plan, including a free shuttle bus service from Glasgow city centre.
Scott Hastings, a Glasgow 7s ambassador, was at Scotstoun yesterday to see preparations for the event – which was previously held in Edinburgh – taking shape. The former Scotland international said: “It’s fantastic to see the stands being built. It’s now a reality that Glasgow will play host to this incredible weekend of sevens rugby.
“The atmosphere will be brilliant with the fans so close to the pitch and with everything else going on around Scotstoun, it’s a weekend not to be missed.
“The HSBC Sevens Series is reaching its climax. It’s going to be a very exciting couple of days. At events around the world there is a festival atmosphere and it will be tremendous to have a big crowd roaring on the teams.”
The tournament, to be held over the first weekend in May, will be the first chance for rugby fans in Glasgow to see the best in the world in the heat of battle. It will be a first visit to the city for the reigning series champions, the All Blacks, with South Africa, Fiji, France and Australian among the core teams.
The entire stadium compound at Scotstoun will be used through the weekend. Around the main pitch, three stands are under construction, which will take the total capacity to 15,000. It will create an enclosed arena in the best traditions of Scottish sevens tournaments. The fans will be up close to the action whether in the main stand, the Festival Stand or the Party stand.
Dominic McKay, director of communications and public affairs at the SRU, said: “A lot of work has gone into making it as easy as possible for fans to get to Scotstoun.
“It was a big challenge to take an event of this magnitude away from Murrayfield and move it along the M8, but this transport plan means that people from all over the country can arrive in the heart of Glasgow and get to Scotstoun on their very own dedicated, free service.
“Tickets have been selling well and we don’t want anyone to be disappointed on the day so I’d encourage all sports fans in Glasgow to get their tickets early.”
A spokesman for Glasgow Life said: “The Glasgow 7s is shaping up to be a truly world-class event and is already proving a hot ticket with fans. It will be the first time we have held an event of this size at Scotstoun and this transport plan will help ensure we get around 30,000 fans to and from the stadium as quickly and conveniently as possible
“The free shuttle bus services and the park and walk schemes will make a real difference to travelling fans and will minimise the strain on the public transport network.”