#SBS24 this month in Manchester! Welcome Co-op Live/OVG, RCD Mallorca, Verizon, DWF Law, Hearts, Sunderland AFC, Wembley Stadium, Oxford United, Juventus FC, Croke Park, Stadio Algarve, Everbank Stadium, Kulture City, PAM, Duracell/Procell, Trusts Arena, Suncorp Stadium... Join them
Driving your revenues, sustainability and fan experience: #SBS24 – 15th annual TheStadiumBusiness Summit in Manchester on 17-18-19 June

Design & Development

Scottish FA president cools talk of major revamp of Hampden Park

Featured image credit: Daniel/CC BY 2.0/Edited for size

Mike Mulraney, president of the Scottish Football Association, has admitted that Hampden Park is in need of improvement but has ruled out a £250m (€296m/$318m) project to bring the stands behind the goals closer to the pitch.

Hampden Park, which opened in 1903, last underwent renovation work in 1999 and has a current capacity of over 51,000. The stadium will be a host venue during UEFA Euro 2028, which Scotland will co-host alongside England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Back in 2021, SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell said the governing body would be open to redeveloping the stadium. Bringing two stands closer to the pitch, in a similar fashion to the way VfB Stuttgart’s stadium was transformed, was one of the options on the table.

This plan now appears unlikely to come to fruition, with Mulraney revealing that it would cost £250m to carry out. “If someone wants to give me it, if the media want to run a campaign and do a fundraiser, I’m your man,” he said, according to The Herald.

“But in the meantime, I want five-year-old Jimmys and eight-year-old Jennys out on pitches playing football, I want older people to do walking football, I want the people who have been deprived of an opportunity to get one. If we do not have pitches we cannot build our game.

“All the people who say: ‘Build the women’s game’. You can’t build the women’s game if the pitches are full of boys. Are you going to take a boy off it to put a girl on?

“I love my national stadium, it’s great when we win. I couldn’t care if I was sitting on an upturned Irn Bru crate if I’m watching Scotland win. But I don’t want to be. I want to be in a national stadium I am currently proud of and one that, when it’s finished, we’ll be prouder of because we’ll improve it as well.”

Mulraney confirmed last week that the SFA will be investing £50m into a football facilities fund over the next five years. Any renovation work at Hampden Park would not be taken from this fund.

Mulraney, who was appointed SFA president last summer and has extensive experience in the drilling and property businesses, said he is “proud” of Hampden Park but has admitted that the stadium does require upgrades.

“Of course it needs improved,” he said. “I’m a property guy, I think most people know that. You can’t sit on your asset, you need to sweat it, invest in it, and improve it.”

In June last year, architecture firm Holmes Miller revealed renderings of how a revamped Hampden Park could look with a retractable roof and a translucent external façade.

The images showed a vision of a 65,000-seat Hampden Park with a steep terraced bowl. Mulraney urged caution on the project, stating that his focus was on grassroots football.