Last-minute dash for Games tickets

HUNDREDS of people today queued for the last remaining Commonwealth Games opening ceremony tickets.

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Organisers revealed briefs for tonight's extravaganza were still available. The 2014 Commonwealth Games kick off tonight and promise to be the best ever.

However, there was some criticism about the length of the queue and time taken to collect tickets. With one queue for picking up and buying tickets, punters were facing waits of up to three hours to collect briefs in the blazing sunshine.

Volunteers were handing out bottles of water and suncream as the queue snaked around George Square and had ordered additional supplies of both.

One ticket holder said: "It's a bit disorganised really. This is the second time I've queued. I'm in my lunch hour but I'll have to stay as this is the only opportunity to pick up the tickets so I'll have to wait. I don't want to risk another queue at the event."

Tonight thousands of people will celebrate across the city as the Glasgow 2014 officially gets under way.

Tickets were still available for the Opening Ceremony at midday today for prices upwards of £100.

Briefs are also still available for the majority of sports including athletics, badminton, boxing, bowls, netball, powerlifting, squash and weightlifting with limited available for wrestling, table tennis, shooting and hockey.

The spectacle, described by organisers as the most prestigious live event ever seen in Scotland, is being held at Celtic Park. Special events are also being at Glasgow Green and the revamped bandstand in Kelvingrove Park.

A global television audience of more than one billion people is expected to tune in to watch the events unfold.

The Queen, as head of the Commonwealth, will attend the ceremony with the Duke of Edinburgh to formally open the 2014 sporting extravaganza.

The ceremony will be the first big test of Glasgow's ambition to host the greatest Commonwealth Games of all time.

While organisers have kept much of the detail of the launch close to their chest, they have promised it will have a distinctly Glaswegian accent.

Singers Rod Stewart, Susan Boyle and Amy Macdonald are among those performing in front of a live audience of 40,000 spectators, but those masterminding the ceremony have promised ordinary Glaswegians will also be heavily involved.

The ceremonial flag will be hoisted at the opening of the Games, where it will fly continuously throughout the event until it is lowered at the closing ceremony.

There will also be a parade of the athletes from the 71 participating nations and territories of the Commonwealth.

Michael Cavanagh, the Commonwealth Games Scotland chairman, said: "What we are about to deliver in Glasgow, I think, will be the best ever Commonwealth Games, for sure.

"We have learned from Manchester and particularly London 2012, but we are ready to deliver something spectacular."

Already a carnival atmosphere is being felt across the city with 2014 banners and bunting bringing streets to life.

Glaswegians and Scots in general look set to embrace the prospect of the first Commonwealth Games in their country for 28 years, with more than 1.1 million tickets sold.

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