Hampden rejig mulled with eye on FIFA show


Hampden Park renovation update September 2021 Image: Hampden Park

The President of the Scottish Football Association (SFA), Rod Petrie, has opened the door to a potential redevelopment of Hampden Park (Scotland) as part of a joint bid to host the World Cup in 2030.

The ‘Glasgow Times’ stated that the Scottish Football Association is considering a proposed UK-wide coalition attempt to bring the showpiece finals to these shores in nine years time.

The Scottish Football Association (SFA) is the governing body of football in Scotland and has the ultimate responsibility for the control and development of football in Scotland. Members of the SFA include clubs in Scotland, affiliated national associations as well as local associations.

Hampden Park is a football stadium in the Mount Florida area of Glasgow, Scotland. The 51,866-capacity venue serves as the national stadium of football in Scotland. It is the normal home venue of the Scotland national football team and was the home of club side Queen’s Park for over a century.

The 2030 FIFA World Cup™ will be the 24th FIFA World Cup™, a quadrennial international football tournament contested by the men’s national teams of the member associations of FIFA. The event will mark the centennial of the first World Cup.

Hampden hosted four matches at the European Championships this summer as supporters returned to the stadium and attended a Fan Zone in Glasgow.

The ‘Glasgow Times’ further stated that discussions over a potential refurbishment of the national stadium have been ongoing for some time and Petrie is keen to explore the possibility following the deal that saw the Association purchase Hampden from Queen’s Park last August.

Stated Petrie, “Well, the great thing is that it’s now owned by the Scottish Football Association and we have the freedom to look at it, to improve the supporter experience coming to the venue. That requires a degree of investment. We’d also like to invest in the infrastructure too, but we need to be prudent and careful what we do with our members’ money. Participation in something like the World Cup 2030 could go hand in hand with some funding to invest in the stadium, and that would be very welcome. We can’t take that for granted or make any assumptions on that.”

Added Petrie, “The other thing we’re able to do with the ownership of the stadium is make sure we can make best use of it between the games we want to host, be that national teams matches or Cup games. There’s significant demand for concerts that has been pent up because of COVID and other things. We’re probably well placed to try and take advantage of that. Again, that would provide welcome income to help support any changes to the stadium, as well as support our members.”

Petrie chaired the Scottish Football Association Annual General Meeting (AGM) recently as the Association reported a drop in turnover of 26.9 percent due to the disastrous impact of COVID-19 in Scotland.

The national game has almost emerged from the pandemic shadow and Petrie knows careful financial decisions will need to be made at all levels as the future of Hampden is deliberated.

Noted Petrie, “No, I don’t think it would be fair to say (the last 18 months has) halted it. We were in the process where we acquired it just as the pandemic started to hit. We got to this phase where we took stock of what we have and where we are. We don’t have a pot of money to start spending at the moment. It’s very important to look after the members and make sure they are financially secure. The Association’s money is their money.”

He further observed, “If we can have the right plan to invest in the supporter experience and the infrastructure that enables us to get access to more revenue through participation in other tournaments and events, then that way we can have a virtuous circle where everything supports everything else.”

And now the joint UK bid could help put the stadium on an even bigger stage as associations and Governments ponder a possible move to land the World Cup in 2030.

Commented Petrie, “Scotland is part of this emerging bid for the World Cup in 2030. We’re still at a feasibility stage where we’re looking at things and discussing it with our bid partners. There’s collaboration across the five associations, along with Government support from both Westminster and Holyrood in United Kingdom. Also, the Republic of Ireland Government is supporting the Football Association of Ireland (FAI).”

Petrie concluded by stating, “It will be interesting to see how the feasibility studies develop and where we get to. We have to be respectful of others who may bid for it and it’s still quite a way off until FIFA put out any bid regulations and start accepting applications.”

Continue to follow Coliseum for latest updates on venues business news. Coliseum is dedicated towards building the best global community of sports and entertainment venue executives and professionals creating better and more profitable venues.

Become a member of the only Global Sports Venue Alliance and connect with stadiums, arenas and experts from around the world. Apply for membership at coliseum-online.com/alliance and make use of the 365Coliseum Business.

Watch 250 member-exclusive videos with valuable tips for your venue

« Previous News:
» Next News:

Advertisement Coliseum GSVA News Banner - MatSing
Advertisement Coliseum Summit news banner - NEXO