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A detail on the outward facing wall of the Main Stand
Celtic Park is a football stadium in the Parkhead area of Glasgowmarker in Scotlandmarker. It is the home ground of Celtic Football Club. The all-seater stadium is also known as Parkhead and occasionally nicknamed Paradise by Celtic fans.

It is the second largest stadium in Scotland by capacity, after Murrayfield Stadiummarker in Edinburgh, and the sixth-largest in the United Kingdommarker after Murrayfield, Old Traffordmarker, Twickenhammarker, Wembleymarker and the Millennium Stadiummarker.

History

The original Celtic Park was built by a large band of volunteers in 1888. Its opening game was against Rangers on 28 May 1888, which Celtic won 5–2. Within 3 years Celtic decided to build a new stadium after annual rental costs rose from £50 to £450. The new stadium was built in a disused brickyard just across the street from the old stadium in 1892. A journalist covering the event reported that it was like "moving from the graveyard to paradise" hence the nickname "Paradise". The main stand was designed by Archibald Leitch, the architect who designed over 20 stadiums throughout Britain. Celtic Park hosted the first ever Composite rules Shinty/Hurling match held in Scotland in 1897.[57708]In 1909 Celtic Park hosted the first ever Rugby League match played in Scotland (Australia v England).[57709]

In 1938 Celtic Park saw its largest attendance of 92,975 when Celtic played a First Division match against Rangers. While Hampden Parkmarker was being redeveloped during the 1990s, Celtic Park hosted a number of cup finals, the most recent being the 1998 Scottish League Cup Final. Celtic Park has also hosted a number of Scotland internationals, primarily when Hampden Park has been unavailable. This happened most recently in 2006 when Hampden had been booked for a Robbie Williams concert in advance of the UEFA Euro 2008 qualification fixtures being determined, meaning that Scotland's match against the Faroe Islands had to be played elsewhere.

The stadium has undergone numerous redevelopments; in 1988, Celtic's centenary year, the red-bricked exterior to the main stand was added. This was constructed over the existing facade. In the early Ninties, it was proposed by the Celtic board that the club would move from Parkhead to a brand new state-of-the-art stadium in nearby Cambuslang. This proposal, which stunned supporters, never got off the ground and has become one of the most infamous moments in Celtic history. In 1993 further development was undertaken to make the stadium comply with the Taylor report. This included removing the terracing from the jungle and making it all seated. This move did not go down well with supporters who saw it as penny pinching by the Board of Directors at the time. It was also unpopular as the gradient in which the Jungle was set was made for Terracing and therefore too slight for seating. In 1994 when Fergus McCann took over the running of the club, he put forward plans to re-build the stadium and remove the tiring terracing. In the summer of 1994, the Jungle, East Terracing and West Terracing were demolished. The green bucket seats which were put into the Jungle in 1993 were removed prior to demolition and they replaced the infamous orange seats in the Main stand. The stadium re-opened in the summer of 1995 with just the new 27,000 seater North Stand and the existing Main Stand in place. It was to be a further 3 years before the stadium was complete for the beginning of the 1998/99 season, bringing the total capacity to 60,100.

Current status

The stadium consists of three large double-tiered stands which extend around three-quarters of the pitch and a lower double-tier main stand, which contains the Celtic museum. These stands completely encircle the pitch.

The Jock Stein Stand (capacity 13,006), at the west end of the stadium, is the traditional 'Celtic End'. Away fans are normally accommodated in part of the Lisbon Lions Stand, which also holds 13,006. The North Stand, which is the largest stand in Scottish football, is situated on the site of the old enclosure known as "The Jungle" and can house a further 26,970 fans. The Main (south) Stand holds 7,850 and has two retractable poles to support the roof when a game is not being played. The North Stand alone has a greater capacity than 10 of the stadiums used in the Scottish Premier League and five of the stadiums used in the English Premier League during the 2009–10 season.

There are two large screens inside the ground for showing highlights and replays on matchdays, which can be lowered for maintenance work.

In recent years, the supporters and the club have added 2 bronze statues to the ground immediately in front of the main entrance to Celtic Park. These statues are of the Founder of the Club, Brother Walfrid and of the Greatest Ever Celt, Jimmy Johnstone.

Since the 2005/06 season, Celtic Park has become one of a number of clubs to use a barcode reader to allow entry to the stadium. These can be found on the Season Ticket or on the top of your match day ticket.

Future

Celtic have investigated the possibility of increasing the capacity of Celtic Park. Chief executive Peter Lawwell said in April 2007 that the site of the Main Stand could be redeveloped to increase the capacity by 8,000, but it was considered too expensive.

Celtic Park will host the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

References

  1. FIFA.com - Celtic spirit shines on
  2. Inglis, Simon: Football Grounds of Britain, page 432. ISBN 0-00-218426-5
  3. Gig Robs SFA of Hampden clash, Edinburgh Evening News, 10 March 2006.
  4. Evening Times article 30/04/07 (Last 3 Paragraphs)
  5. The Official website of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games / Village and Venues / Celtic Park


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