Glasgow 2014 has revealed the new-look Hampden Park following its transformation from a football stadium to a world-class athletics arena ahead of the Commonwealth Games. Hampden will be the centrepiece of the Games, staging some of the most thrilling moments of the competition, with more than a thousand athletes going all out for gold and glory in over 48 events in seven days.
The stadium’s technologically-led transformation features a revolutionary solution which has raised its surface by almost two metres, gaining the width and length required for an IAAF-approved athletics track. Along with the track, a full infield complete with freshly-cut grass sits on a temporary deck made up of 1,000 base panels which are supported by over 6,000 structural steel stilts. The track surface has been laid and lanes marked with the Glasgow 2014 start and finish lines painted in position.
The finished works, which saw approximately eight rows of seats removed to accommodate the wider field of play, revealed for the first time the close proximity that crowds of fans will have to the intense sporting action.
This is the first time this technology has been used on this scale to deliver an athletics event and will enable elite athletes from 71 nations and territories to battle it out in front of a packed crowd of over 40,000 in the stadium and more than one billion TV viewers worldwide.
Olympic steeplechaser and Team Scotland athlete Eilish McColgan said: “The transformation is amazing and I think the reaction of a lot of the athletes will simply be ‘wow’. My mum has told me all about the unbelievable atmosphere and overwhelming support of the crowd when she competed and won gold in front of a home crowd at the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh.
“I’m just so excited at the prospect of competing in a home Games and she’s told me the support I’ll have from the Scottish crowd as a Scottish athlete will be on another level.”
As well as the Commonwealth Games, the stadium will also host Sainsbury's Glasgow Grand Prix on 11 and 12 July.