Now, as you’ve no doubt heard, there’s some pretty major upgrades happening to Celtic Park over the summer. Not just to keep the place up to date and looking nice, but also to help improve the match day experience for you, the fans. I’m standing on top of the main stand roof, trying not to look down, but this is the best place for me to point out a couple of the new features. You might see behind me, the gable end of the west stand has been completely taken off. The plastic sheetings of the gable end of the west and the east stand have been removed to redo the metalwork underneath and then some brand new plastic sheeting will be put back in play. Obviously those ends are exposed to the weather all the year round, so it’s important that they’re kept in a tip-top condition.
While we’re here on the roof, let’s talk about the main stand roof itself. These white corrugated sections have been here for a long time. They’re a bit weather beaten, needing replaced, so that is exactly what is going to happen. Not just to make it a bit more weather resistant for the fans sitting in the main stand, but giving it an upgrade and making it look a lot more modern.
Away from the actual building structure then, let’s talk lights and sound. You’ve probably heard that we’re getting some fancy new lights here at Celtic Park, and you’d be right, in two different forms. Let’s talk entertainment lights. Yes, we’re going to get six of them across the north section, six of them across the south side, and they will allow us to put on a world-class light show. Added to that, the new PA system that’s going to be extended around the whole stadium is just going to crank that atmosphere here at Paradise up a notch on those big European nights.
Also, we’re getting some new floodlights. These are the old halogen lights that were put in place back in the mid-1990s, when Celtic Park was upgraded, but they’re getting a bit old now. So as you can maybe see behind me, the new lights are being put in place all around the stadium this time. These are LED lights. Come with me and I’ll show you one of them up close. Here’s one of the new LED floodlights. You can see there’s three panels here. Each of the panels has got 75 little LED bulbs, so 225 bulbs in total. When we turn it on, you see just what a bright light it gives off. The incredible thing with LED lights, of course, is that you can feel a heat from the glow, but the light itself is completely cold.
So a lot better for the fans, but better for the players too because of the new pitch. You probably know that last year the pitch was dug up and a completely new drainage systems and undersoil heating was put in place. Then what happened was the artificial fibres were inserted into the tough. These fibers are about 20 centimeters in depth, but about 18 centimeters is underground, effectively acting as the root. What we’re doing this summer is we’re taking up all the natural grass around these artificial fibers, and we’ve now seeded the turf with [inaudible 00:03:17], up-to-date, modern grass seed. That’s now going through a germination process, that’s why the white tarpaulin sheet is there. It will be ready for the first game of the season, and it will last. It will be durable, it will be lush, it will be weather-proof. It will be one of the best surfaces around.
I’m sure that you’ll agree that by the time the works are finished by the end of the summer, the benefits will be there for everyone to witness, and it will reaffirm Celtic Park as a modern, exciting, top-of-the-range football stadium.