Spectators to be covered in glory in time for sprinting champions head to head
A host of fantastic new facilities including an impressive canopy roof covering the 4,000 seat East Stand at Gateshead International Stadium has been completed in time for the Aviva British Grand Prix.
The announcement was made as two of the world’s greatest sprint superstars Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay came face to face in a press conference in Gateshead today.
The two men are scheduled to compete on the race track tomorrow (Saturday July 10 2010) for the first time ever on British soil. Jamaican Asafa Powell, the former 100meter World Record holder, said:
“This will be my third time competing in Gateshead I think. The first time I ran the (100meter) World Record in 2006 and then I was back here again in 2008. I love running here it’s fabulous competing with such big Jamaican support in the UK.”
Tyson Gay, the United States former three times world champion, said:
“I’ve been to Gateshead twice and was able to win both times. I’m hoping to make it three in a row this time.”
The two men will be among dozen’s of the world’s finest athletes including British stars including the heptathlon world champion Jessica Ennis and the current triple jump world champion Phillips Edowu competing at the Arriva British Grand Prix event at the North East’s first ever IAAF Diamond League meet.
Linda Green Gateshead Council cabinet member for culture said:
“What an amazing contest tomorrow is going to be between two of the world’s greatest sprinters, just one of the many elite athletics stars at the Aviva British Grand Prix and what a perfect opportunity for thousands of spectators to experience the new look Gateshead International Stadium.
“I’m very proud that Gateshead Council has continued to invest in its world class facilities; not only will this help us continue to attract the biggest athletic events and the biggest stars but will also benefit local clubs for home fixtures at the stadium for years to come.
“In Gateshead not only are we the European City of Sport 2010 we are also committed to improving the health of our residents and we want the fantastic new facilities here to inspire children, young people and adults to adopt healthier lifestyles - a vital element of Gateshead Council’s Active and Healthy Campaign.”
Spectators in the East Stand of the stadium will now sit under a canopy roof which provides total coverage to over 4,000 seats greatly improving the spectator experience. In addition new catering and refurbished toilet facilities will provide a much improved experience for visitors to the stadium.
The next phase of the development will start on September 6 2010 and will include a new building constructed at the front of the main site housing reception; catering and flexible teaching.
In total £36 million is being invested by Gateshead Council in facilities across the borough including some additional support for Gateshead International Stadium from One North East and Gateshead College. The investment is also funding one £8m redevelopment of Gateshead Leisure Centre which opened earlier this year, two brand new leisure centres in Heworth and Blaydon and the redevelopment of Birtley and Dunston pools.