Hampden Park the venue for the big occasion

Hampden Park has been one of the Commonwealth Games' star attractions

Hampden Park has been one of the Commonwealth Games' star attractions

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Hampden Park, Scotland’s national stadium, has proved an excellent venue for athletics this week.

Built in 1903, it has been the setting for most of Scotland’s football internationals over the years, together with a few rugby internationals when Murrayfield has been out of action. It is also the home pitch for Queen’s Park FC.

Originally, the capacity was considerably greater than the current 52,000. The record attendance for a UEFA competition match was in the 1970 European Cup semi-final at Hampden when 136,505 people attended the match between Celtic and Leeds United.

The attendance of 149,415 for the Scotland v England international match of 1937 is also a European record, while 146,433 attended the 1937 Scottish Cup Final between Celtic and Aberdeen - a European record for a club match.

The current capacity was reduced to 40,000 for the Commonwealth Games to accommodate the 400 metre running track.

To do that, the playing surface was raised 1.9 metres to transform the stadium from a football venue into an international-standard facility to host the track and field competitions and the Glasgow 2014 closing ceremony on Sunday evening.

By raising the ground level, the bottom eight layers of seating all-round the pitch had to be sacrificed, hence the loss of approximately 12,000 seats.

The closing ceremony takes place at Hampden Park on Sunday evening.

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