Capita delivered a £20m solution to a £500m problem at Hampden Park Stadium for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014. Hampden Park first opened in 1903 and was the biggest stadium in the world when it opened, with a capacity in excess of 100,000.
In preparation for the event, the surface of the national stadium was raised and turned from a football park into a world-class athletics venue using a unique decking system. It was the first time the technology was used on this scale and specifically for an athletics event. The new arena saw more than 1,000 athletes battle over 50 events staged over seven days.
Capita’s engineering team was appointed by the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee and Malcolm Group to provide structural engineering and inspection services on this revolutionary decking scheme to ensure compliance with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) standards. The deck surface was based upon the system developed by Capita for the 2012 London Olympics at Greenwich Park for the temporary equestrian park - the largest venue outside the Olympic Park.
The achievements gained from this project include:
1. Raised by 2 metres
In order to gain the width and length required for an IAAF approved athletics track, the stadium surface of over 16,500 metres squared was raised by almost two metres.
2. Over 6000 legs
A full infield complete with freshly covered grass sat on a temporary deck, made up of 1,200 base panels supported by over 6,000 structural steel legs. The base panels were installed at a rate of nearly 45 a day using laser levels to ensure a consistent height.
3. Flexible solution
This flexible solution has allowed the creation of a 44,000 seated athletics arena, whilst allowing a fast re-instatement of the stadium to its current 52,000 capacity following the closing ceremony. Around eight rows of seating were removed in the process.
4. Structural solution
The structural solution had a high load capacity which ensured the full range of follow-on construction activities could be carried out on the deck.
5. Fast installation
The installation process was fast, taking around 14 weeks from start to completion of the deck. This decking method has resulted in a huge cost saving over the alternative of a newly constructed or purpose built facility for the track and field event.
6. ‘Glasgow solution’
With IAAF approval, the approach is already being termed the ‘Glasgow solution’ in worldwide athletics circles and its legacy could live on at future events. The high quality of the finished track has been remarked on by many current and former athletes.
The spectacular transformation of Hampden Park from iconic football stadium to world-class athletics venue is an achievement of which Glasgow and Scotland can be justifiably proud."David Grevemberg Glasgow 2014's Chief Executive
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