World of Sport

Commonwealth Games ceremony to be explosive with Glasgow flats demolished live

World of Sport

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The opening ceremony for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow is going to be quite literally explosive as the famous Red Road Flats will be demolished live in extraordinary fashion.

The spectacular demolition of five of the six remaining blocks of flats, built in the mid-1960s, will take just 15 seconds and be the biggest demolition of its kind ever seen in Europe.

It will represent a dramatic change to the skyline in the north east of the city, all while the opening ceremony takes place at Celtic Park on July 23.

A record-breaking 100m-wide screen, which will take up the entire south stand of the stadium as a 'window to the commonwealth', will beam the demolition to the crowd with live footage.

The grounding of the Red Road Flats will form a no doubt memorable part of the ceremony, which will be the official curtain raiser to the largest sporting and cultural event Scotland has ever hosted.

An estimated TV audience of more than one billion people around the world will see the 30-storey blocks fall to the ground, forever changing the city's skyline in the process.

The act is intended to serve as a symbol of Glasgow boldly embracing the future and evolving for the better.

But what about the effect all this will have for the thousands of city families for whom these flats have been home for over five decades?

(VIDEO: The first tower block was brought down in June 2012. The second demolition took place in May last year.)

Letters from Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson are being hand delivered to local people in the surrounding area on Thursday morning informing them of the plan.

Local residents living in 887 homes near the site will be temporarily evacuated during the event and invited to join the Commonwealth Games celebrations.

One block - 33 Petershill Court - is currently used to house asylum seekers and will come down later, but the others will fall simultaneously as the Glasgow Housing Association seek to minimise the number of times residents have to be evacuated.

It has received a mixed response on social media with many people unsure as to what to make of the idea.

Leader of Glasgow City Council, councillor Gordon Matheson, said: "The Opening Ceremony will be the moment when we welcome the world to Glasgow. It will be a ceremony like no other, showcasing our city's unique style and personality and with our people and communities at its very heart.

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"We are going to wow the world, with the demolition of the Red Road flats set to play a starring role. Red Road has an iconic place in Glasgow's history, having been home to thousands of families and dominating the city's skyline for decades. Their demolition will all but mark the end of high-rise living in the area and is symbolic of the changing face of Glasgow."

At one time the tallest residential structures in Europe, the blocks were originally due to be demolished over the next two years. The blocks are to be demolished under strictly controlled conditions using more than 1250kg of explosives.

Eileen Gallagher, the independent director on the Glasgow 2014 board and chair of the ceremonies, said: "By sharing the final moments of the Red Road flats with the world as part of the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games, Glasgow is proving it is a city that is proud of its history but doesn't stand still. A city that is constantly regenerating, renewing and re-inventing itself.'

"Glasgow's story is always one of its people; their tenacity, their genuine warmth, their ambitions. Marking the end of Red Road is very much a celebration of all of those things."

Well, one thing is for sure: it is certainly going to be a quite spectacular opening to the Games and one which even the evacuated local residents will possibly relish given the enormity of the event in Glasgow and Scotland as a whole.

The opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games will be held at Celtic Park on July 23. The games will run until August 3.

Do you think this sounds like an exciting, original idea or are you confused as to why this is being regarded as so positive for the city of Glasgow? Post your views below...

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