Tam's Tall Tales

- Commonwealth Games - Not Ready and Not Steady

Glasgow City Chambers and GeorgeSquare with Commonwealth Games Banners

The Games, which are due to start on Glasgow on 22 July, dropped a substantial clanger when the website fell over just as the first batch of tickets was due to be released out on sale. Disgruntled fans were left hanging on telephone lines for hours only to be met with disappointment. One persistent lady only managed to get tickets after waiting for 31 hours. Others complained of having to spend large amounts on premium rate telephone calls

David Grevemberg, chief executive, apologised for the foul-up and said efforts were in hand to improve systems which had been overwhelmed by demand. "With additional measures in place aimed at managing demand and the addition of free postage on all orders and a Freephone Ticketing Hotline, we aim to get back to the business of ensuring remaining tickets are sold and that thousands more people can begin to look forward to experiencing the excitement of the Games. "While we cannot change the past experience of some of our customers, we do want to thank everyone for their huge support of the Games."

Mr Grevemberg added: "Our focus now is on enabling everyone who wants to be part of one of the world's great sporting parties to be able to secure the tickets to do so."

The main venue for the XX Commonwealth Games for track and field events will be Hampden Park, Scotland's National Football Stadium, located on the south side of the city and the Closing Ceremony will be held there (aerial view here shows the stadium marking "100 days to go" before the games. Celtic Park, located in the East End, will be used for the Opening Ceremony. The Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, located in the West End of the city, will host Wrestling, Judo and Boxing, as well as the Main Press Centre and the International Broadcast Centre, benefiting from its strategic position adjacent to the headquarters of BBC Scotland and STV at Pacific Quay. The Clyde Auditorium will host Weightlifting, whilst the new Scottish Hydro Arena will be used for the Gymnastics and Netball events.

Kelvingrove Park, also in the city's West End, will be the venue for Bowls and already has five bowling greens installed for competitive use. A comprehensive upgrade and refurbishment of the park is underway. Kelvingrove Park is situated close to the SECC. Scotstoun Leisure Centre will host Table tennis and Squash while Ibrox Stadium, home of Rangers Football Club (pictured on the right) will host the Rugby Sevens tournament.

Mountain biking will be held on the Cathkin Braes in Rutherglen, the Royal Burgh neighbouring the City. The marathon course will begin and end on Glasgow Green.

Diving will be held at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh (pictured on the left) is located 45 miles (72 km) to the east where they will also be holding the annual Edinburgh Festival at the same time as the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The Shooting competitions will take place at the Ministry of Defence full-bore rifle and clay target ranges at Barry Buddon, near Dundee, which were also used in the 1986 Commonwealth Games which were based in Edinburgh that year.

Strathclyde Country Park, on the eastern outskirts of Glasgow, beside Hamilton and Motherwell, will host the Triathlon event.

The village masterplan, designed by RMJM (who were the Scottish architects involved in the Scottish Parliament project), covers a 35 hectare site and will be purpose-built to house athletes and officials in 2,500 residential units and leave a legacy of regeneration in this deprived district of the city. The graphic on the right shows the residential zone, the Emirates Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.

4,500 competitors from 71 countries and territories will take part. Here's hoping the 11 day long sportsfest goes smoothly.

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Please give me whatever feedback comes to mind via tamfromrampant@gmail.com.

Tam O'Ranter
May 2014

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