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Inadequate parking a cause for concern at state-of-the-art Emirates Arena

HAVING spent £113m on an acclaimed state-of-the- art arena, you might think there would be adequate parking.

Glasgow has been subjected to considerable criticism on social network sites over inadequate facilities for visitors to the Emirates Arena for the athletics international last weekend – more than 40 on the arena's Facebook site alone – requesting an explanation.

Parking the previous weekend for a minor domestic event also provoked adverse comment. There was also minimal parking for the World Cup Cycling event.

Herald Sport made inquiries last week on learning of the issue. UK Athletics said it was a matter for Glasgow Life. They responded that it was down to UKA, who had hired the facility. The fact remains that purchasers of tickets would have known nothing about it if they had not been social networkers, and that's certainly a UKA issue. They immediately posted a note on their website when we drew matters to their attention, and explained that Glasgow was running a shuttle service from Buchanan Street.

Yet there was minimal public parking at the previous Kelvin Hall venue. Or, for that matter, at Hampden, or Scotstoun.

A spokesman for Glasgow Life said there are 612 spaces at the Emirates, and that pay-for parking was available at Celtic Park. However, for specific major events, given the logistics involved, outside broadcast equipment, athlete and official transport, media and disabled parking took priority.

The city laid on transport as they did for 27,000 rugby spectators at Scotstoun, and also for gymnastic fans at the Emirates. The city would doubtless be pilloried for vast numbers of empty parking berths when there is no major Emirates use.

Of greater concern to me was the fact that, despite a well-orchestrated event having been put on in a splendid stadium, a capacity crowd was somewhat short-changed.

The quality of the fields were not a patch on those for the imminent British Grand Prix in Birmingham where the Olympic champions Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah will lead the home challenge, and other international headline athletes will be in action than was the case in Glasgow. And all for the same top price of £50.

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