GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) - Hampden Park in Glasgow will remain the home of Scottish soccer.
The Scottish soccer association was considering whether Murrayfield in Edinburgh, where Scotland’s international rugby games are played, should become the new venue for the country’s major club and national soccer team matches beyond 2020.
Instead, it is staying put at Hampden in a deal that will see the association buy the 51,866-capacity stadium from its current owner, Queen’s Park, for 5 million pounds ($6.5 million).
“Hampden Park has been the spiritual home of Scottish football for over 100 years, it has been central to our sport’s identity in this country,” said Ian Maxwell, the chief executive of the Scottish Football Association. “But today’s decision is about the future, not the past.”
By taking ownership of Hampden, the federation will look at improving infrastructure, access and transport links in an effort to “create a national stadium that will inspire the next generation of football fans.”
Hampden, which will host four matches at the European Championship in 2020, has staged three finals in the European Cup (1960 and 1976) and Champions League (2002).
Real Madrid’s 7-3 win over Eintracht Frankfurt in 1960, earning the Spanish club a fifth straight European Cup title, is one of club soccer’s most iconic games. Zinedine Zidane scored a spectacular left-foot volley in the 2002 final as Madrid beat Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 for a ninth title.
Hampden also holds the European record attendance for an international match, with 149,415 spectators watching Scotland play England in 1937.
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