Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games: The ceremonies

The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony will light up Celtic Park on 23 July 2014. The opening extravaganza will signal the start of 11 days of intense competition across 17 sports and 22 para-sports.
An artist's impression of the Glasgow 2014 opening ceremony at Celtic Park. Picture: ContributedAn artist's impression of the Glasgow 2014 opening ceremony at Celtic Park. Picture: Contributed
An artist's impression of the Glasgow 2014 opening ceremony at Celtic Park. Picture: Contributed

11 days later Hampden Park will close the show with the Glasgow 2014 Closing Ceremony, where the baton will be passed - by way of an official Flag Handover Ceremony - to Gold Coast City, Australia the host city of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The 60,000-capacity Celtic Park sits beside the Commonwealth Games Athletes’ Village in the Parkhead area of Glasgow’s east end. In its 121-year history Celtic FC’s home ground has staged a number of other high profile events, from international football matches to concerts by Prince and The Who. It even hosted a coronation parade for King George V.

Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games ceremonies

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The theme of the Opening Ceremony won’t be known until the night itself, but it will feature the culmination of the epic Queen’s Baton Relay. The Queen’s Baton will visit 71 nations and territories on its 190,000 km journey over 288 days before its arrival at Celtic Park.

The last time Scotland played host was the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh. The opening ceremony back then celebrated the “Spirit of Youth” and included 6500 Scottish schoolchildren taking part in a series of Gymnastics routines at Meadowbank stadium.

At the Delhi Commonwealth Games in 2010, Scotland was able to give the world a glimpse of what Glasgow’s opening ceremony may feature. The Commonwealth Games flag handover ceremony between Delhi and Glasgow featured a 348-strong volunteer cast performing to traditional and modern Scottish music amid iconic images of Glasgow and Scotland, perhaps giving a hint of what will be on show at Celtic Park next year.

What we know so far is that Glasgow’s opening ceremony will feature:

• Games’ opening – by the Head of the Commonwealth and playing of the Scottish national anthem

• Parade of Nations – formal procession by 4,500 athletes and their coaches and management teams

• The Queen’s Baton Relay – ends its epic journey which has included visiting the 71 Commonwealth nations and territories

Glasgow 2014 tickets

Glasgow Commonwealth Games organisers said they received 25 times more applications for tickets than the number of tickets available. In all, during the four-week allotted window, there were 2.3 million requests received for up to one million tickets. Demand for tickets has far exceeded supply, which unfortunately means that some hopeful spectators will miss out on seeing the action live when Usain Bolt, Mo Farah et al. touch down in Glasgow next year.

Everyone who has applied for tickets will be offered to buy more tickets during an exclusive on-sale period before any remaining tickets are placed on general sale in late October.