Talks are pro­gress­ing to make Scot­stoun host of a sum­mer meet­ing

The Herald - Sport - - FINAL SAY - MARK WOODS

GLAS­GOW is in line to stage one of Bri­tain’s lead­ing out­door ath­let­ics fix­tures, it has been re­vealed, with talks at an ad­vanced stage to bring a sum­mer meet­ing to Scot­stoun Sta­dium.

It comes six months after more than 30,000 fans were lured to Ham­p­den Park for the first-ever Di­a­mond League leg to be held in Scot­land, with city chiefs keen to sat­isfy the de­mand cre­ated by that and the sub­se­quent Com­mon­wealth Games where tick­ets for track and field events were at a pre­mium.

The move has re­ceived high-level back­ing from UK Ath­let­ics with a source within the gov­ern­ing body stat­ing: “We’re talk­ing with Glas­gow about a range of events from 2016 on­wards.”

While the main Di­a­mond League meet­ing will re­turn to London’s Olympic Sta­dium in July after its one-off de­tour north, it is un­der­stood that the present deal with Birm­ing­ham to stage the coun­try’s other top-tier IAAF event ex­pires this sum­mer.

Although rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Mid­lands city con­firmed last night that they are al­ready en­gaged in “con­struc­tive talks” to re­tain both the Grand Prix and the Bri­tish Cham­pi­onships, it is pos­si­ble that UKA could re-lo­cate one of the two or cre­ate a new meet­ing.

Plans to in­crease the seat­ing ca­pac­ity at Scot­stoun to as much as 15,000, us­ing tem­po­rary stands, have al­ready been drawn up as part of a business case.

The pro­posal to land an out­door meet­ing does, how­ever, throw the fu­ture of the long-stand­ing in­door in­ter­na­tional in Glas­gow into se­ri­ous doubt.

First staged in 1988 at the Kelvin Hall be­fore lat­terly trans­fer­ring to the Emi­rates Arena, last Satur­day’s edi­tion suf­fered from a ma­jor down­grade in its sta­tus fol­low­ing the loss of its BBC tele­vi­sion cov­er­age, with UKA’s sub­se­quent decision to slash its pro­mo­tional bud­get rob­bing the event of its ha­bit­ual A-List cast of com­peti­tors.

“Get­ting one does not au­to­mat­i­cally mean you lose the other,” one Scot­tish Ath­let­ics of­fi­cial told Her­ald Sport. But with City of Glas­gow said to be dis­ap­pointed with the re­duced ex­po­sure, and with ticket sales for the Sains­bury’sspon­sored match de­clin­ing, it is far from cer­tain the con­tract to host the tra­di­tional in­door opener will be re­newed.

A spokesman for Glas­gow Life, which op­er­ates both venues, said: “A num­ber of am­bi­tious and ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties which will con­tinue to bring world-class ath­let­ics to Glas­gow are be­ing dis­cussed and will be an­nounced in due course.”

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