Talks are progressing to make Scotstoun host of a summer meeting
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.”