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Fields of dreams; 2014 ..WE'VE GOT IT Massive makeover for Glasgow's sporting arenas.

Byline: By John McEachran

BULLDOZERS will begin the spectacular transformation of Glasgow for the 2014 Commonwealth Games within weeks.

Most of the changes will take place in the east end of the city, which will be left with 1000 new homes and some of Britain's best sporting facilities.

Organisers promised to hit the ground running and use the first 100 days to lay the foundations for a Games to remember.

Some of the figures are staggering. It will cost pounds 288million to run the 11-day sporting festival for about 6000 athletes.

There will be 17 sports at 12 venues which will welcome many thousands of spectators at affordable prices.

Many events will cost pounds 5, pounds 10 or pounds 25 to get into - including public transport to the venue.

The most expensive tickets will be for the opening and closing ceremonies, with the best seats pounds 175.

The Games will run from Wednesday, July 23, to Sunday, August 3, 2014. Glasgow's three big stadiums all have prominent roles.

Celtic Park's 60,000 seats will be filled for the two-hour opening ceremony.

Hampden will hold the flagship track and field events over six days. A temporary track will be laid over the front rows of seats - cutting capacity from 52,000 to 46,000.

And Ibrox will host the rugby sevens tournament over two days.

At the other end of the scale, just 540 spectators will be able to watch shooting at the police training centre in East Kilbride, Lanarkshire.

Some other events will take place outside the city, such as rowing at Strathclyde Park.

The first competitive event will be swimming at Tollcross at 10am on day two.

The last will be women's hockey on Glasgow Green - which will finish just four hours before the closing ceremony.

The east end will be transformed over the next seven years.

Dalmarnock will be the site of the athletes' village.

More than 1000 homes will be built on the site and once the games are over, they will be made available for private sale and rented housing.

The village will be within walking distance of training facilities. It will be next to a new pounds 4million National Indoor Sports Arena and Velodrome. The state-of-the-art arena will have 5000 seats in a multi-sports venue able to host international events.

The velodrome will have 2000 seats and it is anticipated that this will become a world centre for cycling. It will also feature an inline skating facility.

The swimming pool at Tollcross will have a second 50-metre pool built and spectator capacity will go up to about 6000.

After the games, the number of seats will be cut to 2500 - big enough for other championships. It will be used by the public and as a base for the City of Glasgow swim team.

Down river, Glasgow Green will get a new hockey centre. Further downstream, a pounds 62million National Arena will be built at the SECC.

It will be the venue for the boxing, netball, gymnastics and weightlifting events. Ground preparation work should start before the end of the year and it will open by 2010.

At Kelvingrove, the bowlers will be able to enjoy four relaid greens.

Across the road, the Kelvin Hall will stage wrestling and judo. Scotstoun Stadium and sports centre will get an upgrade for the squash and table tennis.

Out of the city, the triathlon will be held at Strathclyde Park. And some of the shooting will be at the MoD's Barry Buddon range in Angus.

Security will be tight. Senior Strathclyde police officers will head up a team involving the Counter Terrorism Branch, the Security Service, Special Branch, armed forces, Coastguard, immigration and Customs.

More than 10,000 police officers, 750 fire service personnel, 550 ambulance staff and 200 British Transport Police officers will be on duty.

GOiNG FOR GOLD

SCOTLAND took a team of 166 athletes to the 2006 Games in Melbourne and landed a total of 29 medals. There were 11 gold medal wins, seven silver and 11 bronze. But we are expected to have our biggest and strongest squad ever competing for glory in 2014. And the search for stars of the future - people who will represent the country with pride on home soil - begins NOW. Are you ready to answer the call?

CAPTION(S):

RUGBY; ViLLAGE; HAMPDEN; SWiMMiNG; VELODROME
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Nov 10, 2007
Words:724
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