Designing iconic stadiums, architectural evolution of sports venues in Glasgow, Scottish football ground news
Designing Iconic Glasgow Stadiums – Sports Venues
7 Sep 2023
Dating back to the 6th century AD, the city of Glasgow has a long and rich history, whether because of the vibrant markets that sprung up as a result of the trading center or the beautiful architecture of its cathedral, university and numerous other ancient buildings.
Designing Iconic Stadiums: The Architectural Evolution of Sports Venues in Glasgow
In the modern era, we may not be building as many cathedrals or other styles of traditional architecture (whether that’s Gothic, Romanesque or something else entirely), but that doesn’t mean that The Dear Green Place doesn’t still have a rich, growing architectural profile.
One of the most stunning forms of modern architecture here in Glasgow lies in the numerous athletic stadiums that call the city home: whether because of their own profiles or because of their dramatic surroundings, here’s a look at some of the best athletic venues in Glasgow, listed in no particular order… and how they’ve changed through the years.
1. Celtic Park
First on the list is Celtic Park, home to the eponymous Celtic F.C. These days it’s the largest football stadium in all of Scotland in terms of maximum capacity, with a modernistic metal overhang crowning the top and sides of the building and gaudy green banners displaying the home team’s colors.
Celtic Park has long been the gold standard for stadiums in the British Isles, as it was the first football venue to have a press box, and was described as the best football stadium in the British Isles in the years after it was built.
Even more exciting is the fact that the park remains a work in progress, as the club has flirted with the idea of expanding the stadium capacity in recent years, with a price tag of £100 million quoted in November 2022 for future developments: stay tuned to see how the history of stadium architecture continues to change if those alterations come to pass.
2. Ibrox Stadium
Home to Rangers F.C., Ibrox Stadium has a history just as rich as that of Celtic Park…albeit one fraught with danger and destruction.
It’s a stately building, well known for the beautiful brick facade of its Main Stand that architect Archibald Leitch added in 1928. Part of why Leitch had the space to build that stately front, though, was a disaster that took place nearly three decades previously, when the original wooden terrace collapsed and killed 25 spectators, injuring hundreds more.
The beautiful venue was in its third year of operations, hosting an international match of the British Home Championship: as a result, the stands were packed full with fans from across the British Isles. No one is exactly sure what caused the collapse. Some cite heavy rainfall the night before, enough to weaken the ground beneath the stands to the point of instability. Others say that the boisterous stomping of the crowd was enough to shake the foundation apart. In the end, it was likely some combination of both.
A crowd crush occurred in a stairwell at Ibrox Stadium in 1971, causing 66 deaths—at the time, the worst disaster in the history of British football.
Following the incident (and some hefty lawsuits after the Rangers organization was found at fault for it because of outdated building safety standards) Ibrox Stadium went through another series of renovations aimed at modernizing the structure. These adjustments more than halved the maximum capacity of the stadium, dropping from a record of nearly 120,000 at the stadium’s peak to roughly 50,000 today. Many fans claimed that this ruined the frenzied atmosphere Ibrox Stadium previously fostered…but at the end of the day, safety is far more important.
The Rangers will be playing at Ibrox this Saturday, listed as heavy betting favorites against St Johnstone at some of the best Betting Sites in the UK: if you want to see the club take home the win in person, there’s no better time to do it than now.
3. Hampden Park
Home to the Scottish National Team, Hampden Park, like Ibrox Stadium, has long been known for its frenzied crowds. It’s seen a number of iterations throughout the years—the first Hampden Park was wiped out by the expansion of the railway lines, while the grounds of the second edition still exist as a public park—but the current stadium has stood since 1903, albeit with some modifications over the years.
Hampden hosted some of the largest crowds in the world up until the 1980s, with record attendance peaking close to 150,000 fans. With all those fans crammed into a steeply tiered stadium, the park became known for the Hampden Roar, as people could hear the sound of the crowd from miles away after the Scotland National Team scored an important goal.
After the crowd crush at Ibrox and ensuing safety regulations, the crowd size at Hampden has been greatly reduced, but it’s well deserving of a spot on the list because of its rich history.
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Glasgow Football Stadiums
Major Glasgow Football Stadium Buildings
Strathclyde Arena Buildings – selection:
University of Glasgow’s ARC officially opened
photo courtesy of UoG
University of Glasgow Advanced Research Centre Opening
New Olympia House in Bridgeton
image courtesy of Clyde Gateway
New Olympia House in Bridgeton
Malls Mire Woodland Park
photo courtesy of Clyde Gateway
Malls Mire Woodland Park, Toryglen
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