As the last firework fizzled out over Hampden Park last weekend, the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games were brought to a rapturous close. It was an event which naturally courted some controversy, with drug test failures and Usain Bolt's alleged four-letter derisory comments. However, it was nevertheless considered by many as a sporting success, with the home nations taking many accolades back to their respective training grounds.
What have been the effects on the host, though? How has the Commonwealth Games benefited Scotland?
Opinion seems to be mixed as to whether the Games has helped or hindered the independence campaign. Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities, Nicola Sturgeon, believes that success in Glasgow will 'help propel the country towards backing independence', with voters 'imbued with confidence in their country' after their impressive medals haul. Meanwhile Reuters says that a poll by Survation has seen support for the 'yes' vote drop by one point to 40 per cent, compared with 46 per cent all for staying united. It would appear that the Games "haven't had a discernible impact", so says Survation director of research, Patrick Brione. What is for certain is that the event has raised the profile of referendum - both in and outside Scotland.
Lessons will be learned and changes made to Glasgow's transportation system, after complaints were made during the Games. The extra provisions that had been put in place didn't quite meet demand, with some spectators, according to Herald Scotland, missing events while they queued for the park and ride shuttle buses. While it's unlikely demand will ever be quite so heavy on your normal workday or weekend, Transport Scotland has admitted it will bear the issues in mind as and when other large Scottish sporting events, such as the Ryder Cup in Gleaneagles, take place.
Games chief executive, David Grevemberg believes that the 20th edition of the Games will have a positive effect on the city that will be 'felt for many years to come'. Speaking to the Daily Mail, he highlighted how facilities in and around Glasgow have been refurbished, while others were constructed from scratch for local communities to make use of. He says that the Games has changed perceptions about Glasgow, that it's not simply a 'gateway' to everywhere else in Scotland, but that it is an important hub in its own right.
The organising committee hopes the Games' legacy will provide more opportunities for education, business and community endeavours, across the whole of Scotland, making it a great place to live.
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