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Hampden roars that generate millions for Scottish economy

Hampden Park has notched up a home victory for Scotland by bringing £34.5 million into the nation’s economy last year.

A financial report shows the national stadium, in the south side of Glasgow, generated £17.97m by its operations last year. It combined this with £16.49m in visitor spending, bringing the economic effect of concerts and football matches to £34.46m.

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More than 730,000 people visited the stadium last year, with football taking second place as the main attraction to concerts including Coldplay, Take That, AC/DC, the Eagles, Bruce Springsteen and U2.

The report -- compiled by the Fraser of Allander Institute, the Welsh Economy Research Unit at Cardiff University and Strategic Marketing Cardiff -- examined both how activities generated by the stadium contributed to the economy, and how Glasgow and Scotland benefited from visitors to Hampden.

The report points out that Hampden directly employs 28 full-time workers and indirectly supports 34 others.

But the stadium’s main impact is in attracting visitors to the city, who spend money on entertainment, food, hotels and transport.

The report discovered that day visitors to the three Scottish international matches played at Hampden spent £18.52 per trip. However, this soared to £152 per visitor if an overnight stay was involved.

The largest element of off-site spending is associated with the major music concerts that attract between 30,000 and 50,000 fans to each event. The total off-site spend of day visitors to a concert is estimated at £6.2m, with overnight stays adding £2.3m.

The stadium is also a conference centre and a medical facility, and hosts the Scottish Football Museum. The figure of £34.5m for income generated in Scotland last year is almost certainly an underestimate. Compilers of the report admitted they could not consider how many visitors returned to Glasgow after initially attending football matches or concerts in the stadium.

The stadium is operated by Hampden Park Limited, which is expected to announce a profit this year. It receives no outside funding.

The report will support the claims of David Kells, who retired as managing director of Hampden last year. He told The Herald then that he was frustrated that no outside agency offered help to a concern that brought in so much money.

His successor, Peter Dallas, would not be drawn into that area last night. He said: “The figures show the stadium has a positive impact on the Glasgow and Scottish economy. It is a facility that is used every day of the year and we are working on events that will make 2010 another successful year.”

Hampden is likely to generate more next year when three Take That concerts are complemented by three Scotland Euro 2012 qualifiers, plus domestic cup finals and semi-finals.

Mr Dallas confirmed that Hampden was already working on securing other major events. The stadium will host eight matches for the London Olympics in 2012, and the athletics programme and closing ceremony for the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

The report says: “Analysis reveals it is actually not the spending associated with football supporters levering the greatest economic effects. Rather it has been the visitation levered as a result of landmark music concerts that contributes most.

“A critical factor is that those attending concerts were greater in number than those attending football matches.”

The report also predicts that the Commonwealth and Olympic Games are likely to increase repeat visits to Glasgow.


Versatile venue with five-star status

- Hampden Park was built in 1903 by Queen’s Park Football Club.

- The club bought 33 acres of land and built a stadium that aimed to be “the most advanced in the world”.

- It was immediately adopted as Scotland’s national stadium.

- In 1937, 149,415 people attended the Scotland v England game.

- Hampden hosted the European Cup Final featuring Real Madrid v Eintracht Frankfurt in May 1960.

- Rebuilding work has taken place at Hampden several times.

- In 1990, £12 million was spent upgrading the north and east stands.

- In 1999, £59 million was spent on the south and west stands.

- Hampden is graded as a five-star stadium by UEFA. The only other ground in Scotland that has five-star status is Ibrox.

- In addition to football matches, Hampden hosts concerts, American football games and other large outdoor events.

- Last year it played host to boy band Take That, who will play there again next summer.

- Queen’s Park Football Club still own the stadium but they leased it to the Scottish Football Association.

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