|George Square Glasgow|
|City Chambers at George Square obscured by a big shop|
|Fencing and temporary stands being put in place at Kelvingrove bowls venue|
Despite the Scotstoun Sports Campus being the home to Glasgow Warriors rugby team and the Scottish National Badminton Academy, neither the rugby 7s nor the badminton events are being held here. However the table tennis and squash competitions will take place here. The use of a temporary structure to house the squash show courts has proven controversial, criticised for the lack of "legacy", not leaving Glasgow with a venue to host international competitions in future. This temporary building which has landed on the main astroturf football pitch at Scotstoun, is huge. There has also been the rebuilding of six permanent squash courts at Scotstoun which will still be left behind after the games, but this does seem like an expensive missed opportunity.
|Temporary structure at Scotstoun, opposite the badminton academy|
|Scotstoun Sports Campus|
On my previous blog, when I visited Scotstoun I had taken a misty-eyed photo of the old crazy golf course in Victoria Park, just beside Scotstoun Showgrounds. In September this was all crumbling, nostalgic and quaint. Now, as part of Glasgow "tidying the house" it has been bulldozed and landscaped. Limmy may note that some of the fences here have actually been painted and diggers were in giving the run down playpark a bit of a facelift today.
|Victoria Park, site of the crazy golf event c.1978|
Next I ran through the Clyde Tunnel to visit the site of the Rugby Sevens competition, Ibrox Stadium. Presumably the financially straitened football club that resides here must feel that they've won a watch being able to rent out the old place, built in 1899, over the summer. It is a venue which is going to need little more than a swap of the goalposts and a bit of line painting inside. Outside today there were construction workers erecting security fencing around the place, whether as protection for the Ibrox board members or for the Commonwealth Games wasn't entirely clear.
|Ibrox Staduim, Glasgow|
Back across the river and you pass some newly laid out roads between Ibrox and the BBC and STV buildings, there is also the new Premier Inn on the Clydeside here, open in time for the summer. There are cultural events being held on the Quayside at the Science Centre and organised by the BBC here, but across the river Clyde we come to the next sporting venues. Described on the Games website as the SECC Precinct we have the The Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, the Hydro and the "Armadillo" - Clyde Auditorium. This area will host the gymnastics, netball, weight-lifting, boxing, judo and wrestling. The media centre for the Games will be based here and I presume the white tents being built in the car park is the site for this. Like other venues it is in the process of getting ringed in security fencing, which has narrowed down the part of the pavement that I regularly jog along to get down to the Clydeside.
|The Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC)|
|The Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) and new fencing emerging|
|The Armadillo (Clyde Auditorium) and SSE Hydro buildings|
The Hydro is a 13,000 capacity arena which opened in September 2013 and has seen continuous use with concerts and the like ever since. Last night Eric Clapton was playing there, but only managed half a show before storming off in the huff apparently.
Another huddle of venues is to be found in the east end of the city. Glasgow Green is to host a variety of cultural events, opening and closing ceremony parties, as well as start and finish lines for the marathon, cycling time trial and cycling road races.Fences are at present being erected on the Green around the People's Palace area as they get ready. At the eastern end of Glasgow Green lies the Glasgow National Hockey Centre, two synthetic pitches built specifically for the Games and now the headquarters for Scottish Hockey. In the picture below it is now surrounded in fencing and more resembles a building site at present than anything else.
|National Hockey Centre, Glasgow|
|Tidied up gap site near Glasgow Cross|
|Turfing and landscping at Dalmarnock train station|
Celtic Park will host the Games Opening Ceremony on 23rd July 2014. The home of Celtic Football team since 1892. It was curiously picked by the SPFL as the venue for their opening game of the new football season on the 9th of August between Celtic and Partick Thistle. Predictably Celtic have decided it is too early to get the pitch ready for football. So this game has been postponed, which seems an avoidable hassle for Partick Thistle fans like me. The approach road to Celtic Park has a had a long overdue facelift, becoming the Celtic Way, it would appear.
|Athletes' Village fenced in|
The athlete's village is also alongside here, creating housing in an area which has been for decades a bit of a post-industrial wasteland. This hasn't gone without controversy as some people were unhappy with the forced evictions and demolitions that occurred here, and the security fencing being erected is causing access difficulties for many local residents. However I think most people will agree that this infrastructure investment will be one of the positive results from the Games. I worry though that we are making the same mistakes as previous generations in building houses first without creating employment or schools and corner shops for the future residents. Unemployment rates in the east end of Glasgow are as high as anywhere in the UK and I don't see any thought of "legacy" employment or training for the locals. We can't all work in the retail parks and new leisure facilities out here.
|Fleets of cars within the Athletes' Village get ready|
The last venue in the east end is Tollcross Swimming Pool, which has always been Glasgow's 50 meter pool. Money has gone into upgrading the facilities here but like many of the other venues it is currently being surrounded in a ring of steel and resembles a building site again.
|Tollcross Swimming Pool|
Other venues I didn't visit on my wee runs this weekend are the mountain bike trails on Cathkin Braes just south of Glasgow, Strathclyde Park where the triathlon will be held, the Edinburgh swimming pool where the diving will be held and outside the cities there is the Barry Buddon shooting centre in Carnoustie. The road signs are up warning of the traffic hassles and parking restrictions on the way, but I think most Glaswegians are excited about the Games starting and ready to show off our city. It's meant to be fun, after all.
|City centre mural, Glasgow|