Hampden By Numbers

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Hampden By Numbers

Post by Scottish » Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:07 pm

Hampden Park – a ground which stayed open during two world wars and indeed staged internationals and cup finals less than two months after the nearby Clydebank Blitz in 1941 – Has now closed down for the third time in little over twenty years. On the two previous occasions it was due to rebuilding the stadium to its present all-seater status. This time it is to prepare for next year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The time is therefore appropriate to have a look at the ground’s history as told by facts and figures.

As with the Windmill Theatre between 1939-1945, the show went on at Hampden. During the war it staged ten internationals, 49 cup finals and semi-finals of various competitions and 137 first class Queen’s Park games as well. It was here that in April 1943 an incredible 137,363 turned up for a wartime international against England – the first of three occasions to witness a six-figure gate during the conflict. Save for crowd restrictions in the early part of the war that number would have been higher.

Last week’s match against the USA was the 235th full international to be played there. With the ten unofficial games as well, the stadium closes (temporarily) just a handful short of reaching 250 internationals. Those internationals are now just a little over half a million spectators shy of the 15,000,000 mark.

There have been other representative games of course. The Under-23s have played at Hampden four times and the U-21s once. The Scottish League has staged twelve matches there. Junior Cup finals and replays account for 65 more games. There were only six Junior Finals prior to 1943 and there have been none since 1986 yet over 2,000,000 people have seen Junior football at Hampden Park One-off tournaments like the Coronation & St Mungo cups have also taken place at the national stadium.

There was the famous Great Britain v FIFA reunification match in 1947 and more sombre games like that between a Scotland XI and an Old Firm select to raise money for the families of the victims of the Ibrox Disaster in 1971. Even the much-maligned Olympic Games of last year brought reasonable crowds – the match between Japan and Spain was watched by more than either of the last two Scotland matches. More saw Honduras and Morocco than Scotland and the USA. And the women’s matches between the USA and France and North Korea and Colombia drew more than the Scottish men did against Denmark less than a year previously. The Olympics helped contribute to Hampden reaching its best seasonal gates total for almost twenty years.

Hampden has also staged the finals of every great club tournament – the European Cup (three times), the now-defunct Cup-Winners Cup, the UEFA Cup - forerunner to the Europa League – and the World Club Championship. This is the ground which saw Ferenc Puskas score four times and Alfredo Di Stefano a hat-trick in the famous European Cup Final of 1960. The European Cup has also seen quarter and semi-final ties at Hampden. The latter of these, between Celtic and Leeds United in 1970, was seen by a European competition record attendance of 136,505.

Domestically, the two major competitions have dominated. Since the ground’s inception back in 1903, Hampden has been the venue for 104 Scottish Cup Finals and replays with 37 drawing six-figure crowds, the first in 1928 and the last in 1973. Since 1903 only eleven Scottish Cup Finals have been awarded to other venues, just five of these since the First World War and only three since 1924 – and all of those were due to Hampden reconstruction work. Over 8,500,000 have walked through the turnstiles to see a Scottish Cup Final.

It was 1912 before Scottish Cup semi-finals were played at neutral venues. Since then Hampden has been the setting for 133 of them including replays. Eight of these games too have been watched by more than 100,000. In all, over 6,000,000 have seen Hampden semi-finals. Apart from Queen’s Park’s home matches a number of other Scottish Cup ties have been played at Hampden. It has been used as a neutral venue for second replays and both Celtic and Third Lanark have played ‘home’ games there when their own grounds were out of commission. Well over 1,000,000 have seen these games. Queen’s Park have played over 100 Scottish Cup ties, once drawing an amazing 95,722 to watch a tie against Rangers in 1930. In fact the Spiders have attracted 50,000+ crowds five times – a far cry from the 594 who turned up for their most recent tie, against Preston Athletic in October this year.

The League Cup is of course a much newer competition yet even so there have been 64 finals and replays and 72 semis and replays. Three finals and one semi have crashed through the 100,000 barrier. It should have been more. Over 123,000 tickets were sold for the first League Cup Final in 1946-47 but thanks to the most horrendous weather of the 20th century and Aberdeen having to play three important cup ties in the space of a fortnight, just over 80,000 turned up. Like the Scottish Cup, the League Cup has staged the occasional neutral replay and also, like the Scottish Cup, Celtic and Third Lanark have used Hampden for ‘home’ games. Over 3,750,000 have seen League Cup Finals and Hampden semi-finals have been watched by over 2,500,000. Naturally, Queen’s Park have played the most League Cup games – well over 100. Since 1991 Queen’s have played Challenge Cup games too. They also played one match back in the 1950s in the Challenge Cup’s short-lived predecessor, the B Division Supplementary Cup. How did it fail to last with a funky title like that?

Naturally there have been many Scottish League matches played at Hampden. This Saturday marks Queen’s Park’s 1,900th home match since joining the league in 1900. 1,900 since 1,900 just before a shutdown? Sounds too good to be true. It is. Several Spiders’ matches were played at their old 2nd Hampden (Cathkin as it became) ground and others have been played at Ibrox and Lesser Hampden so the number actually played at Hampden is less than 1,850. But Celtic have played over twenty times in the league at Hampden, including the entire 1994-95 season when Celtic Park was being rebuilt. In fact that season saw the record for league attendances at Hampden as Queen’s Park’s meagre total of 9,619 for the season was augmented by Celtic’s 442,825. Third Lanark staged nearly thirty league games at Hampden, including the entire 1946-47 season when they were better supported than permanent residents Queen’s Park – though the Spiders would dearly love to have their then league attendance average of 10,000+ today. The other Glasgow clubs – Rangers, Clyde, Partick Thistle – have also used Hampden occasionally, as have St Mirren and – surprisingly – Hibernian. In 1905 Hampden was the setting for the second and last league title play-off in Scottish football history when Celtic beat Rangers to win the first of what became six successive titles – a record unmatched until Jock Stein’s Parkhead team won nine between 1965-1974.

Then there are those half-forgotten Glaswegian competitions – the Glasgow Cup and the Glasgow Merchants Charity Cup. At one time the former was so important that it took precedence over league matches. The latter was played after the end of the ‘official’ season. All told Hampden hosted 105 Glasgow Cup games during the period when it was a competition for first elevens and 103 in the Charity Cup before the last match was staged back in 1966. Yet even though it’s been a quarter of a century since the last Glasgow Cup match and almost half a century since the Charity Cup was played for, these two competitions account for over 5,700,000 Hampden spectators. The Glasgow Cup Final saw interest decline from a peak of 84,536 for the Old Firm final of 1927 to just 3,584 in its dying days in 1985. As late as 1975 though an Old Firm final could draw 70,000. It’s true that a 40,000+ crowd, inspired by the arrival of Graeme Souness saw Rangers v Celtic the following year but that match was at Ibrox, not Hampden.

It was Hampden which saw the last trophy victory of the soon to be doomed Third Lanark when they beat Celtic in 1963 to win the Glasgow Cup for the first time in over fifty years.

Reasons for the demise of the city competitions aren’t hard to find. For the Glasgow Cup it no longer took precedence over the league and with the growth of midweek internationals and the arrival of European football, finding dates on the calendar became harder and harder with some finals held over to the start of the next season and some seasons the competition didn’t take place at ll.

The Charity Cup, being held at the end of the season, should, theoretically, have lasted longer yet it finished two decades before its city companion. Three factors sealed its fate. First, in those (occasional) years when Scotland qualified for the World Cup finals, these took precedence over an end-of-season domestic tourney. Second, Scotland increasingly developed the habit of taking on overseas tours at the end of the season. Third – and most damaging – was the attitude of the clubs themselves who also began to prefer lucrative tours.

Charity no longer began at home. Or, if it did, it no longer extended beyond the boundaries of club car parks.

Yet in its heyday this too was a significant part of Hampden’s history, with 81,672 attending an Old Firm final in 1950 as a trophy-hungry Celtic, in their post-war doldrums, beat Rangers 3-2. Other Glasgow clubs could bring out a decent number of fans too. Two years after that Old Firm tie 30,492 saw Third Lanark and Clyde play out a 2-2 draw and share the trophy between them.

But by the turn of the decade the end was approaching. Just 8,296 saw Rangers beat Partick Thistle in 1960 and a year later, after Celtic and Clyde shared the trophy, the old format came to an end. In a bid to keep the competition alive, top English sides were invited to play a Glasgow Select XI in a pre-season curtain-opener. At first this was a tremendous success – 82,000 watched the first game between Glasgow and Manchester United. And crowds of 48,576 and 58,768 saw the next two games – against Man U and Spurs. But the crowd declined to 36,000 against Chelsea in 1965 and when only 15,000 saw a 1-1 draw against Leeds United in August 1966 the trophy was quietly interred.

A few years later the short-lived Drybrough Cup (a competition which was the antithesis of the Charity Cup in that clubs took both gate money and sponsor’s cash with nothing to spare for charity) held all its finals bar the first – which was staged at Pittodrie – at Hampden. The first four of these were successful at drawing the crowds – 40,609 was the lowest. But when just 6,994 watched the 1980 final between Aberdeen and St Mirren this too bit the dust. Incidentally, this competition was never mentioned among the many (deserved) tributes paid to Sir Alex Ferguson upon his retirement. If it is included then his managerial trophy tally hits the fifty mark.

With attendances in decline the Junior Cup made its last appearance at Hampden in 1986. A competition which could once attract over 70,000 and several times beat the League Cup Final and some Scotland matches in the attendance stakes now struggled to pull in over 7,500 to watch two of the biggest names in Junior Football – Auchinleck Talbot and Pollok.

Overall Hampden crowds had been in decline for some time following the peak years just after the war. In its first season back in 1903-04, the ground hadn’t opened until a league match between Queen’s Park and Celtic at the end of October 1903 and the total at the season’s end was 216,972. That rose to 326,344 the following season and three years later it had reached 591,452. A pattern had been established. Every second year – when England came to play – gates were much higher, especially if the Scottish Cup Final was staged as well. But after the riots at the Old Firm final in 1909 the SFA didn’t award another final to Hampden until 1920 even though there were no more Old Firm finals and two without any Old Firm participation at all. At the same time the Glasgow FA was happy to use the ground for Old Firm matches in both the Glasgow and Charity Cups. It was 1928-29 before a new record was set with 607,997 attending over the course of the season.

Twelve months on a new record of 749,974 was established despite there being no international match. A replayed Scottish Cup final which offset the lack of an international and that massive 95,000+ for Queen’s Park v Rangers in the Scottish Cup against no cup ties the previous year were the main reasons for the new record. It remained intact, until after the outbreak of war, not even being broken in the 1936-37 season which saw individual all-time records set in the Home Internationals and the Scottish Cup with 149,547 attending the England game and 147,365 the cup final between Celtic and Aberdeen.

Amazingly it was during the midst of wartime that a new record was set with 776,699 attending in 1944-45 – a testimony to not just the ‘fitba’ crazy’ mentality of the Scots but a determination to show that life must go on as normally as was possible.

The next eight seasons were the heyday of Hampden as far as crowds were concerned as the million mark was passed seven times and the one season it wasn’t – 1948-49 – a half decent gate of 37,500 somewhere along the line would have been enough then as well.

The unofficial season of 1945-46 saw the seven-figure mark breached for the first time when 1,237,345 attended. That rose to 1,307,221 in the first official post-war season of 1946-47 then in 1947-48 crowds reached an all-time high of 1,400,568. The four seasons after 1948-49 saw a return to over the million mark and the four after that were all over 900,000. But by the start of the 1960s and the rise of a more affluent society with greater leisure options, crowds had dropped off. In 1960-61 the total was just 570,868. Yet the next season saw a revival with the million mark passed for the first time in nearly a decade. An increase in international figures, the League Cup Final going to a replay and ‘other’ matches rising to nearly 200,000 – chiefly due to the the ground's floodlight opener between Rangers and Eintracht Frankfurt which drew over 100,000 and a Scottish League v Italian League match which was watched by close to 70,000 – from zero the season before pushed up the total to the emblematic mark.

Hampden was destined to pass one million just one more time. By 1965-66 floodlit internationals were well established and with later kick-offs, improved roads and faster trains, it was easier than ever to finish work and still have time to get to and from the ground for fans in the Central Belt. Scotland played an unprecedented seven home internationals that season and crucial World Cup qualifiers against Poland and Italy both drew over 100,000. With a home match against England topping both of those and a game against reigning World champions Brazil pulling in over 70,000 it’s easy to see why the international total of 496,355 was and remains far and away the best Scotland have ever reached in an international season. The game v Wales was watched by a respectable 49,889. The only disappointments were the crowds of 16,513 v Holland and 23,322 v Portugal. The Dutch may have been unheralded at the time but the Portuguese certainly weren’t. The contained a number of players who had been European Cup winners with Benfica, not least of them Eusebio, perhaps best summed up for the benefit of those too young to recognise the name, as the Cristiano Ronaldo of his generation. Imagine only just over 20,000 turning up to see Ronaldo! Just a few thousand more would have pushed Scotland through the half million mark. In all, internationals were watched by three times as many in 1965-66 as the previous year and with a replayed Old Firm Scottish Cup Final adding to the tally, a grand total of 1,101,635 attended Hampden games that season.

The only time since that the million mark has been approached was the tragic season of 1970-71. The Scottish Cup Final and both semis all went to replays, the League Cup final reached 100,000+ for the final time and 80,000+ augmented the ‘other’ column as Celtic moved their European Cup quarter final tie with Ajax from Celtic Park. Sadly, the match which moved the total to within just over 35,000 of the million was a game the reason for being played was one which nobody could have wished for. Less than four weeks after the Ibrox Disaster came the all-star benefit match for the families of the victims and this too was watched by over 80,000.

The last 100,000+ international was against England in 1972 and the final six-figure game of any kind the Scottish Cup Final in 1973. That season’s total scraped over the 900,00 mark for the last time.

Crowds dropped sharply after that. In 1976-77 they fell below half a million for the first time since the height of the war in 1941-42. They rallied in the next two seasons as first, Scotland prepared for the Word Cup in Argentina and then, after the South American debacle, stayed at over half a million due to some Old Firm league games being played there.

But the long-term decline seemed inexorable with gates falling below 400,000 in 1982-83 then under 300,000 three seasons later. By 1991-92 just as the first phase of rebuilding was set to get under way they had dropped to a post-war low of 277,197. Yet by 1994-95 with only three-quarters of the reconstruction complete they reached a twenty-year high of 680,094. This was due entirely to another reconstruction – that of Celtic Park. Celtic ‘s season at Hampden saw well over half a million follow their fortunes at the national stadium.

After the completion of the stadium and its return to ‘normal service’ in 1999, attendances have remained steady, with no dramatic falls or increases, remaining between a little less than 300,000 to touching 380,000.

Then came 2012-13 and the highest gates since Celtic’s time there almost two decades previously. The Olympics drew over 140,000 and Queen’s Park’s league crowds jumped five-fold with the arrival of Rangers in the Third Division as the Ibrox club brought close to 40,000 fans with them over the course of two visits. That brought the tally for the season to 485,868.

This season Saw just 94,466 in total by the time of the shutdown as even a revived Scotland have struggled to persuade supporters to part with their cash. Three home international games have drawn just 91,535 in total. With just one Scottish Cup tie, a Challenge Cup match and seven league games, Queen’s Park added just 4,931 to that figure.

If 1947-48 was Hampden’s best year for attendances, which has been its worst? It’s only fair, I think, to exclude the reconstruction years, even if, as in 1993-94, all major games were staged there, as the capacity was greatly reduced. It wouldn’t be right either to look at seasons such as this one or the inaugural season where the stadium wasn’t available for the entire term.

Would it be right therefore to declare 1914-15, with 142,000 attending, as the worst? I don’t think so as there was no Scottish Cup during the First World War and while the SFA didn’t award Hampden a final after 1909, the fact that they gave the ground the first post-war final in 1919-20 means it is at least possible they would have done so beforehand. There is also the possibility that Queen’s Park, a reasonably well supported side at that time, would have staged a number of home ties, including possibly against the Old Firm, which would have increased the figure. So I think that 1914-1918 has to excluded from the reckoning as well.

That then leaves us with 1910-11. 210,000 in total, consisting of 107,000 for Queen’s Park league matches, 66,000 in the Glasgow Cup and 37,000 in the Charity Cup. No internationals, no Scottish Cup ties and naturally long before the League Cup or European matches hove into view.

Post-war, 1991-92, perversely, claims that “honour.” Hampden staged all three home international matches, Scottish & League Cup Finals, both Scottish Cup semis and one replay, and one League Cup semi-final. Queen’s Park played a full complement of league matches plus League Cup and Challenge Cup games. In other words, a regular season. Only 277,919 spectators came through the turnstiles.

Why “perversely” though? Well, it could be argued for a start that our club football was highly regarded – certainly much more than nowadays. The following year saw Rangers finish undefeated but second in their Champions league group and with a double victory over English champions Leeds United to boot. It was the equivalent of reaching the semi-finals, last achieved by a Scottish club when Dundee United did it in 1984 and since then not at all.

The best club performance in Europe’s premier trophy in a period of thirty years is not something to be lightly dismissed.

Yet a more compelling argument can be made for the success of the national team. They had qualified for the last five World Cups in succession. In 1991-92 they reached the finals of the European Championships for the first time ever. It was the first and last occasion that Scotland played in the last eight of a major international tournament yet this season was the one which produced a post-war low for Hampden matches and the worst for over eighty years. Yet overall the national stadium has met with the approval of the Scottish football fan. Over 59,000,000 have attended at some point over the past 110 years – at an average of close to 540,000 per season.

As that great sage of our noble game, James Greaves Esq, once famously put it, “It’s a funny old game.”

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Re: Hampden By Numbers

Post by lbb » Fri Nov 22, 2013 12:53 pm

An interesting read. In my opinion, Hampden, like many grounds, lost something due to poor redevelopment. The decision to retain the oval design when installing the seats was ridiculous. Both ends behind the goal should have been brought closer to the pitch. The oval design just about worked when the old Hampden was full. It's never worked for me since it was all-seated.
scottish wrote:The last 100,000+ international was against England in 1972 and the final six-figure game of any kind the Scottish Cup Final in 1973. That season’s total scraped over the 900,00 mark for the last time.

Crowds dropped sharply after that.
I know this drop is mentioned in The Roar of the Crowd - the contrast between the 1973 and 1977 Scottish Cup Finals, example - and the 1973 Scottish Cup Final was the last game my father ever attended. He never did set foot in the rebuilt Ibrox and was never enticed back to any games. He never really said why he stopped attending - and this was someone who had went to Wolverhampton, London and Barcelona - and I certainly don't think the commonly attributed reasons of alcohol and violence would have been an issue for him at that time in his life.
scottish wrote:Why “perversely” though? Well, it could be argued for a start that our club football was highly regarded – certainly much more than nowadays. The following year saw Rangers finish undefeated but second in their Champions league group and with a double victory over English champions Leeds United to boot. It was the equivalent of reaching the semi-finals, last achieved by a Scottish club when Celtic did it in 1974 and since then not at all.

The best club performance in Europe’s premier trophy in a period of forty years is not something to be lightly dismissed.
I would agree that the Rangers oldco's match in the Velodrome in Marseille in April 1993 was a de facto semi-final in the absence of semi-finals in the competition that year. Whoever won that night would have clinched their place in the Final which seems as clear a description of a semi-final as any. However, it does not seem to be commonly accepted in Scotland.

I must say, though, that Dundee United did reach the semi-finals in 1984 where they lost to Roma. This photograph illustrates the strong friendship that was built up between the clubs over the tie -

Image

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Re: Hampden By Numbers

Post by Scottish » Sat Nov 23, 2013 1:47 am

Sorry, yes, you are absolutely right about Dundee United. I don't know how I forgot that, especially considering I have the match programme from their home leg. I'll amend it after tomorrow when I need to update after the QP game. Though to be fair, that warm welcome extended to Jovial Jim could have been taken from just about any Scottish ground other than Tannadice 1971-1993.

I'd agree with you as well regarding the redevelopment. Apart from better views and atmosphere it would have allowed for a higher capacity as well. Smaller grounds, like Rugby Park for example, dispensed with their oval shape during redevelopment.

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Re: Hampden By Numbers

Post by the hibLOG » Mon Nov 25, 2013 4:01 am

scottish wrote: Though to be fair, that warm welcome extended to Jovial Jim could have been taken from just about any Scottish ground other than Tannadice 1971-1993.
From drunken supporters, perhaps, but hardly from any of the opposition players. Maclean rubbed a lot of people up the wrong way but I don't recall him doing anything at that time to provoke such repugnant behaviour.
I'd agree with you as well regarding the redevelopment. Apart from better views and atmosphere it would have allowed for a higher capacity as well. Smaller grounds, like Rugby Park for example, dispensed with their oval shape during redevelopment.
Surely the oval ends accommodate more seats than a straight stand of the same height would have? I don't disagree that they should have brought them in to the pitch, but surely they'd have needed to build big stands to maintain the capacity? I think the similar non-adaptation of the North Stand is as bad if not worse in respect of poor sightlines and appalling access. What amazes me overall is that it cost so much money to do so little to the ground.
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Re: Hampden By Numbers

Post by Scottish » Mon Nov 25, 2013 5:24 am

I'm no architect (but at least one member of this site is, so his take would be interesting) but it strikes me that s stand close to the pitch and with corners 'filled in' would be greater in capacity than one bending round in an oval shape and leaving expanses of potential seating left as track.

Point taken re McLean but he didn't exactly distinguish himself at the end of his time at Tannadice.

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Re: Hampden By Numbers

Post by the hibLOG » Mon Nov 25, 2013 8:29 pm

scottish wrote:I'm no architect (but at least one member of this site is, so his take would be interesting) but it strikes me that s stand close to the pitch and with corners 'filled in' would be greater in capacity than one bending round in an oval shape and leaving expanses of potential seating left as track.
When the City of Manchester Stadium was converted after the Commonwealth Games it was dug out and a whole new lower tier of seating added all round to increase the capacity from 41,000 to 47,800, at the same time as bringing the ends in. The length of an arc is longer than the distance between its two ends so I would have thought that simply straightening the ends would leave less room for seats than just seating the arc. The stands at Hampden would therefore have to have been higher to produce more seating than there now is.

The bottom line is that anything more like a proper modern stadium would have cost an enormous amount more money, especially since all three of the old terraced sides are to greater or lesser extents built into the hillside. Building new stands at either end would have entailed a fair bit of earth moving never mind construction. As it was the whole reconstruction cost - what? - 80million? Conservatively a completely new 50,000 seater construction would have cost at least 150million, but at least it would have been fit for purpose.
Point taken re McLean but he didn't exactly distinguish himself at the end of his time at Tannadice.
He certainly didn't, but at that time he was performing miracles, and all he did to insult the Italians was have the temerity to beat them soundly at Tannadice in the first leg. If a Scottish player had acted like that towards a visiting coach he'd have been banned for life. Italian football is not short of shameful episodes but that one sticks in the memory.
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Re: Hampden By Numbers

Post by Scottish » Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:41 pm

I don't have the mathematical processes to argue. Mclean's team should have been in the final that year. A combination of skulduggery which wanted to see Roma play in their home stadium and events for which they were later banned conspired to prevent Dundee United reach the final. Although the offences for which they were punished didn't involve the Rome game v Ubited, that's to to say there was definitely nothing untoward about it.

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Re: Hampden By Numbers

Post by ScottishFA » Wed Nov 27, 2013 7:16 pm

Just to add a few insights on the design and (re)build of Hampden, I've looked up some old documents.

First there is the report of the Working Party on the Future of Hampden Park, which was published in May 1975 after 18 months of deliberation. It's a fascinating document full of detail and forward thinking which leaves a sense of what might have been. This was ultimately shelved after government support was withdrawn, but it does make the comment 'We are of the opinion that the traditional "mildly claustrophobic" atmosphere is an integral part of the enjoyment of attending a major football match. To achieve this it is essential that the spectators are located as close to the pitch as is possible, commensurate with safety. The ideal solution would therefore be a traditional rectangular stadium.'

Fast forward to March 1991 and the Prospectus for a New National Stadium. Rather less detail in this one, but by now there is no suggestion of a rectangular stadium - the proposals are based on reconfiguring the existing shape. The reason is obviously one of money, and at that time the cost of developing three sides (north, west and east) is just short of £13 million; the south stand on its own comes to £15.6 million. The first phase did indeed go ahead and was completed on schedule.

The south stand was next, and as costs rose dramatically to over £50 million it very nearly foundered. It went so close to the wire, in fact, that when I was press officer at the SFA I had two press releases prepared, ready for distribution after one critical funding decision by government. One read 'Hampden saved', the other read 'Hampden to be abandoned'. I've still got them somewhere.

A final comment on stadium shape: a leaflet promoting a new national stadium in Strathclyde Park says 'The stadium is an elliptical arena; this form enhances atmosphere and provides good visibility'. This statement is next to a drawing showing the football pitch surrounded by an 8 lane running track. A lucky escape!

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Re: Hampden By Numbers

Post by Scottish » Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:52 am

ScottishFA wrote: in fact, that when I was press officer at the SFA I had two press releases prepared, ready for distribution after one critical funding decision by government. One read 'Hampden saved', the other read 'Hampden to be abandoned'. I've still got them somewhere.
Similar (if perhaps not quite as important if you'll forgive me for saying so) to Eisenhower the week after the D-Day landings. He had two letters. One said a beachhead had been established and the invasion was a success. The other said it had been a failure, it was his responsibility and contained his resignation.

Or the potentially apocalyptic ending to the film "The Day The Earth Caught Fire," the final seconds of which show a newspaper headline "World Saved" before panning in to the alternative "World Doomed" then fading to black.

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Re: Hampden By Numbers

Post by Rob R » Thu Nov 28, 2013 8:00 am

OK Hampden was saved, but the fitba was doomed.

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