The capacity of Glasgow’s new Commonwealth Games velodrome is to be extended after the first batch of tickets to see Team GB cycling stars, including Britain’s most decorated Olympian Sir Chris Hoy, compete at the UCI Track Cycling World Cup Classics event in November sold out in under two hours.
Thousands of tickets set aside for members of British Cycling, the sport’s governing body, were taken up, prompting organisers to expect a similar response when the remainder of the tickets go on general sale on Tuesday.
The Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, which will be the venue for cycling events at Glasgow’s 2014 Commonwealth Games, will have its capacity extended by more than 4000 for the November event, in light of the rush for tickets. Organisers had planned to limit admission to 2500 spectators for each of the event’s sessions on 17 and 18 November, but now plan to bring the venue up to its 2014 Games capacity by using its retractable seats.
The venue, opening in early October, will form part of the £113 million Commonwealth Arena and will be among the largest facilties of its kind in Europe.
British Cycling spokesman Paul Rowlands said: “Our Saturday and Sunday allocation of pre-sale tickets has sold out. It’s the first time we’ve gone into a brand new velodrome after this level of success.
“We’ve delivered World Cups in Manchester over the years and gradually got to the stage where we’re selling out, and that’s been mirroring the growth of the success of the GB team on the track.
“But we’re delighted with the response to the Glasgow event and are looking forward to how the public responds to the general sale on Tuesday.”
This will be the first competitive outing for the Team GB cyclists since the Olympics. Sir Chris is among four gold medallists, with Jason Kenny, Laura Trott and Dani King, from London 2012 expected to compete at the Glasgow event.
Head of the Commonwealth Games at Glasgow City Council, councillor Archie Miller said: “We will be doing everything we can to make sure local people get the chance to see the world’s top cyclists in action at the new Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.
“It is great to see so many people take the opportunity to buy tickets during the pre-sale, and that shows the level of excitement for track cycling.
“Anticipation is building as we look ahead to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and this will only increase as we host more and more international events.”