Glasgow’s Scotstoun ground to go artificial

Date published: June 6 2016

Home of PRO12 side Glasgow Warriors, Scoutstoun Stadium, is set for a major upgrade to ensure it remains a centre of excellence for rugby and athletics as it continues to meet the needs of the wider sporting community.

Councillors on Glasgow City Council’s Executive Committee will be asked to approve the investment works, which will see a synthetic playing surface installed, improve athletics and rugby training facilities, create a new events throws area and improve the existing outdoor running track.

The existing grass infield at the stadium has been badly affected during recent winters with heavy rainfall rendering it unplayable for long periods. 

During the 2015/16 rugby season Glasgow Warriors were unable to play three matches at Scotstoun and a fourth game was postponed, while there was little or no use by athletics clubs due to the weather.

The proposed artificial pitch, which will meet World Rugby guidelines, will significantly reduce the risk of Glasgow Warriors fixtures being postponed. 

It will also increase the use of the infield for athletics during club sessions. 

Improvements to the adjacent training pitch will also provide an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) compliant throws area for training and events. 

Cardiff Blues, Saracens and Newcastle Falcons have already made the switch to artificial surfaces in recent seasons, while Worcester Warriors also plan to change this year.

As part of the planned investment the existing 400m outdoor running track will be improved along with associated drainage works. 

The improvements will also benefit Victoria Park City of Glasgow Athletics Club and increase the current window for athletics events (April to September as opposed to June to August).

The project will be funded by Glasgow City Council, Scottish Rugby/Glasgow Warriors and sportscotland.

If approved and subject to contracts being finalised, work will commence later this month with completion expected ahead of the 2016/17 season. 

While predominantly for use by the athletics and rugby communities a programme for wider community use is being developed. 

Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend expressed his delight with the developments.

"It’s fantastic news that we’re close to securing a brand new pitch at Scotstoun for next season," Townsend told the official Glasgow Warriors website.

"Scotstoun Stadium is set for a major upgrade to ensure it retains its position as a centre of excellence for rugby and athletics. 

"We've played a lot on the Cardiff Arms Park surface over the last few years and we enjoyed playing on the Rugby Park pitch last season.

"We aim to play high tempo rugby and this state-of-the-art artificial surface will help us produce a faster game."

Glasgow Warriors Managing Director, Nathan Bombrys, said: "After the challenges of last season, it’s great that we’re close to installing a pitch that will give us a consistently excellent surface all season, to play the exciting rugby that we like to play.

"The development will benefit the athletics clubs that we share Scotstoun with us, by providing better facilities and more access.

"We believe the new artificial pitch could also open up opportunities to bring some additional rugby matches and events to Scotstoun, which will assist our efforts to grow our sport in the west of Scotland."

Scotland CEO, Dominic McKay, said: "Scottish Rugby has made a significant investment towards this new artificial pitch, to ensure we have the best possible surface for our players to train and play on.

"We see this investment as part of a longer term development of the stadium, which we are working closely with Glasgow Life on and we believe this new pitch will be an excellent addition for rugby and athletics, while helping to safeguard future Glasgow Warriors matches."