Up to a million tickets will go on sale this morning for next year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, with officials hoping to build on the popularity of the British athletes who starred at the Olympics.
The organising body behind Glasgow 2014 will allow people to start applying for the tickets at 10am today, with two out of three priced at less than £25.
The head of Commonwealth Games Scotland has called on local fans to drape the stadiums in Saltire flags “helping to make the home advantage count”. Michael Cavanagh added that the event was the “biggest international sporting event to come to these shores”.
About 4,500 athletes from 71 countries will travel to Scotland next summer for the games, which will take place over 11 days. This stage of ticketing will last until 16 September, and the organisers said it made “no difference” if fans applied on the first or the last day.
Lord Smith of Kelvin, chairman of Glasgow 2014, said the best welcome to give the elite athletes would be “stadia packed with supporters cheering them on”.
Two-thirds of Scots polled said the Games would bring lasting benefits to Glasgow, as well as to the rest of the country. Just 4 per cent of the 1001 quizzed said there would be no benefit at all. The poll also revealed that 68 per cent believe a deprived area of Glasgow will be regenerated.
Nigel Currie, director of sports marketing agency Brand Rapport, said: “I think the event will be very popular. There were a lot of lessons learnt from London.
“It gives Scotland a chance to support their team and I think there will be strong demand for it,” he said, adding: “With events of this size people look for what could go wrong and ticketing is pretty high up there. They’re more equipped for these events now and better prepared.” Mr Currie said the key to making the event a success was getting the big name athletes to compete, from the Team GB medal winners to international superstars such as Usain Bolt.
“It’s always been the sort of event that maybe some top athletes have avoided or perhaps not committed to fully. A lot of effort will go to getting the top stars there.”
A total of 70 per cent of the tickets to all sporting events in next year’s Games will be available to the public, the organisers said.
The cheapest tickets up for grabs from today are £15, with concessions for under-16s and the over-60s, while travelling on public transport in the local area will also be thrown in.
Michael Jamieson, who won an Olympic silver medal in the 200m backstroke and is one of the stars of Team Scotland, was on hand yesterday at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre for the launch.
The Glaswegian, who will compete on the first night of the competition next year, trained in the pool as a youngster.
He said the event “is going to be one of the highlights of my career”.
2014 Games: The big draws
Jessica Ennis-Hill Injury forced the heptathlete out of the Moscow world championships but she is an ambassador for the Glasgow games.
Mo Farah Two stunning results in Russia mean Farah is only the second man to do the double at the world championships a year after doing it at the Olympics.
Usain Bolt The world 100m champion has said he wants to make a first Commonwealth appearance at Hampden Park, left.
Michael Jamieson The Olympic 200m backstroke silver medallist is an ambassador for the Games and Glasgow’s native son will be a hugely popular draw.
Laura Trott The Essex cycling star is due to race in the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome.
Want tickets? Here’s what to do
At 10am this morning log on to glasgow2014.com/tickets to apply for the events. On the site will be an application form and a guide to how to fill it in. Close to one million tickets will be available but the system has been designed so fans do not swamp the site and force it offline.
Applications can be made at any stage over the next four weeks and the organisers say it makes no difference whether that is “the first day, last day or in between” so there is a chance to scrutinise the various events properly. There will also be an opportunity to make postal applications.