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SBD Global/June 11, 2014/Facilities

Scottish FA Not Considering Move Away From Hampden Park After Lease Ends In '20

The Scottish FA's lease with Hampden Park runs through 2020.
The Scottish FA said that an option to move away from Hampden Park "has not yet been considered," according to Lamont & Conaghan of the BBC. The SFA's lease on the national stadium ends in '20, and one of a number of proposals put forward by a consultancy firm "is to not renew." It would mean "taking internationals and cup finals to other venues." SFA CEO Stewart Regan said, "It is our duty as a governing body to proactively explore all of the options available. I must stress this process is at a very early stage -- no proposals have been put forward or considered -- and it is hugely misleading to suggest that the SFA is focusing on whether to move away from Hampden Park" (BBC, 6/10). The SCOTSMAN reported potential alternative venues for Scotland’s home matches and Scottish Cup games "include Celtic Park, Pittodrie Stadium, Ibrox Stadium, Easter Road and Murrayfield Stadium." It "would also mean the SFA finding offices elsewhere as well as moving sports medicine facilities and the Scottish Football Museum" (SCOTSMAN, 6/10). The Glasgow EVENING TIMES reported the 52,000-seat Hampden is owned by League Two club Queen's Park. The SFA is "now examining whether to commit themselves to another rental agreement with the Spiders, or to even acquire the free-holding of the ground." A source said "every option is being considered" -- including full or partial redevelopment of the existing stadium (EVENING TIMES, 6/10).

EURO 2020 QUESTIONS: The PA's Andy Newport reported the SFA "still believes it is in the running to become a host for Euro 2020." If given the go ahead, it will "signal the end of international matches and cup finals at the national stadium." A source insisted that Scottish hopes of landing three group games and a round-of-16 tie for the Euro 2020 -- which will be staged across Europe -- "are not under threat." The source said, "It is important to stress that UEFA still sees us as a safe bet for Euro 2020" (PA, 6/10).
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