Commonwealth Games Bosses Decide Against Opening Ceremony Building Demolition
Commonwealth Games officials have "backed down from a controversial decision to demolish the Red Road flats as part of the 2014 opening ceremony," according to the Scotland DAILY RECORD. The move follows a "backlash of opposition to the plan, with opponents including artists, musicians and writers." Glasgow 2014 chiefs had intended to "blow down five of the six remaining 1960s towerblocks at the July 23 event, with the footage beamed into the Celtic Park ceremony and to an estimated global TV audience" of more than 1 billion people. The plan was opposed by critics who said that it was "insensitive to former residents and to the asylum seekers who occupy the sixth block." An online petition "calling for the plans to be dropped attracted thousands of signatures" (DAILY RECORD, 4/13). The PA reported Glasgow 2014 CEO David Grevemberg said that the "decision was taken after opinions were expressed that 'change the safety and security context.'" While he "did not give details, recent reports had suggested that families living near the demolition site were vowing not to leave the blast zone in protest at the proposals." Grevemberg said said that "safety was the authorities' main priority." Grevemberg: "The decision to feature the live demolition of five Red Road blocks within the opening ceremony was planned both as commemoration of a part of Glasgow's social history as well as a statement of the city's regeneration" (PA, 4/13). STV reported Commonwealth Games Minister Shona Robison said that she "supported the move, despite the plan having been sacked by deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon just three days before the U-turn" (STV, 4/13).