Queen’s Park set for Hampden return

Featured image credit: Hampden Park

Championship club Queen’s Park has agreed a deal with the Scottish Football Association (SFA) to return to its spiritual home, Hampden Park, for the 2023-24 season.

Queen’s Park played at Hampden, Scottish football’s national stadium in Glasgow, from when it opened in 1903 through to 2021. The SFA formally took ownership of Hampden Park in August 2020 as its previous owner, Queen’s Park, looked to a new era at a redeveloped Lesser Hampden.

The SFA had initially concluded a £5m (€5.82m/$6.27m) deal back in June 2019 to buy the stadium from the then League Two club. The agreement to purchase the stadium was signed after months of negotiations.

The SFA reached an agreement back in September 2018 to buy the 51,866-seat stadium from Queen’s Park. The deal represented a success for Hampden Park, which had faced competition from Edinburgh’s Murrayfield stadium to become the home of Scottish football after 2020.

Queen’s Park submitted new plans for its Lesser Hampden redevelopment back in December 2021, with work continuing on this project. The club played at Ochilview Park, home of League Two outfit Stenhousemuir, last season but is now set for a return to Hampden.

The national stadium playing surface will be fully renovated following a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert on July 23 and be available for use by Queen’s Park following the 150th Heritage International against England on September 12.

As part of the arrangement, the Scotland national teams will utilise Lesser Hampden as a training facility in addition to Oriam, Scotland’s National Performance Centre in Edinburgh.

Ian Maxwell, Scottish FA chief executive, said: “We are pleased that we have been able to reach agreement with Queen’s Park, who will use the national stadium for the forthcoming season. As part of the agreement, our Scotland national teams will be able to utilise the world-class facilities at Lesser Hampden.

“(Coach) Steve Clarke and the men’s national team have already spoken highly of Lesser Hampden, having used it as a training base for the back-to-back wins against Cyprus and Spain in the UEFA Euro 2024 qualifiers, and hopefully it can continue to play a part in our success.

“With the increasing fixture calendar across all of our national teams, and with the need to ensure provision for coach education and referee training and development, it is hugely beneficial to access Lesser Hampden as well as our long-standing partnership with the National Performance Centre at Oriam.”

Leeann Dempster, Queen’s Park chief executive, added: “We are excited to be able to return to Hampden Park for what will be an exciting season for us in the cinch Championship.

“While we continue our redevelopment of Lesser Hampden, we are happy to provide the state-of-the-art facilities to the Scotland national teams as part of the rental agreement. I’m sure our fans and visiting fans will look forward to games at Hampden Park next season and we are also pleased to be able to support the efforts of our national teams in the process.”

Queen’s Park’s home games prior to September 12 will be played at Lesser Hampden.