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Volume 7 No. 149

Facilities

Scottish FA CEO Ian Maxwell will investigate the feasibility of redesigning Hampden Park.
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

The cost of redeveloping Hampden "along similar lines to the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Stuttgart" could cost up to £90M ($118M), the architect behind the project for the German side said, according to Graeme McGarry of the HERALD SCOTLAND. Eberhard Becker of Stuttgart-based firm ASP was responsible for the redesign of Stuttgart's stadium, "which saw the stands either side of the old running track demolished and the pitch lowered to accommodate the construction of two steep-sided stands closer to the pitch." Scottish FA CEO Ian Maxwell pledged to "investigate the feasibility" of a similar project to bring in the ends at Hampden following the decision to buy the stadium outright on Tuesday, but Becker "warned that such a project would not come cheaply." Becker said, "Our costs were about €80 million in 2011, but building costs these days are higher, so it would be much more expensive now. I would think it would be 15% or 20% more nowadays." That estimate is based on a "like-for-like comparison," but Becker pointed out that there "could be savings to be made" if there are "significant differences" in what non-football facilities are required at Hampden than what was required of him when he reimagined Stuttgart's ground. He said, "It depends very much on what they include in the stadium. If they have a gym or a hotel for instance, or turn it into a business venue, this would all be different from just putting in a few snack bars for fans" (HERALD SCOTLAND, 9/12).

'MOVE IT AROUND': The BBC reported Scotland assistant coach James McFadden expects future Scotland home games to be played at grounds other than Hampden Park. McFadden: "In the future, they can move it around. Because the SFA will own the stadium, all the games won't be at Hampden. There'll be times where the games will be moved around to the likes of Tynecastle and Easter Road." Scotland Manager Alex McLeish said that the SFA's purchase of Hampden was "brilliant news" (BBC, 9/13).

A documentary revealed there is no viable plan to recycle 3G football pitches.
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

New fears "emerged about the environmental toll of 3G pitches on generations to come," with a TV documentary having revealed that there is "no viable plan" to recycle the "huge numbers of surfaces" the FA is "investing in heavily." Dutch investigative program Zembla discovered "two enormous dumps of worn-out plastic pitches" on the site of companies in the Netherlands that were supposed to be recycling them. The FA plans to build £200M ($262M) of 3G pitches in 30 towns and cities across football "hubs" over the next 10 years. There is "only one recycling plant in Europe that can break down and purify the different elements of 3G pitches," located in Herning, Denmark (London TELEGRAPH, 9/12).

The public was told it has a "last chance" to voice concerns over the future of Crystal Palace Sports Centre. The venue, which could have parts demolished next year, is "in the midst of a review" instigated by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, with a report set to be handed to him in the new year. Already 15,000 people have signed a petition to save athletics at the venue, which is losing around £1M ($1.3M) a year (London EVENING STANDARD, 9/13).