Queen's Park, the oldest club in Scottish football, have played at a venue called Hampden Park since October 1873. The first Hampden Park was overlooked by a nearby terrace named after Englishman John Hampden, who fought for the roundheads in the English Civil War. Queen's Park played at the first Hampden Park for 10 years beginning with a Scottish Cup tie on 25 October 1873. The ground hosted the first Scottish Cup Final, in 1874, and a Scotland v England match in 1878.
The club moved to the second Hampden Park, 150 yards from the original, because the Cathcart District Railway planned a new line through the site of the ground's western terrace. A lawn bowling club at the junction of Queen's Drive and Cathcart Road marks the site of the first Hampden. The second Hampden Park opened in October 1884. It became a regular home to the Scottish Cup Final, but Celtic Park shared some of the big matches including the Scotland v England fixture in 1894.
In the late 1890s, Queen's Park requested more land for development of the second Hampden Park. This was refused by the landlords, which led to the club seeking a new site. Henry Erskine Gordon agreed to sell 12 acres of land off Somerville Drive to Queen's Park in November 1899. James Miller designed twin grandstands along the south side of the ground with a pavilion wedged in between. The natural slopes were shaped to form banks of terracing, designed by Archibald Leitch. Construction of the new ground took over three years to complete; during construction, a disaster occurred at Ibrox in which part of the wooden terraces collapsed. In response, the terraces at Hampden were firmly set in the earthwork and innovative techniques were used to control spectators.
Third Lanark A.C. took over the second Hampden Park in 1903 and renamed it Cathkin Park. The club rebuilt the ground from scratch due to a failure to agree a fee for the whole stadium. Third Lanark went out of business in 1967 and Cathkin Park is now a public park with much of the original terracing still evident.
Hampden Park was the biggest stadium in the world from its opening in 1903 until it was surpassed by the Maracanã in 1950. Along with Celtic Park and Ibrox, the city of Glasgow possessed the three largest football stadia in the world at the time Hampden opened. In the stadium's first match, on 31 October 1903, Queen's Park defeated Celtic 1–0 in the Scottish league. The first Scottish Cup Final played at the ground was an Old Firm match in 1904, attracting a record Scottish crowd of 64,672. The first Scotland v England match at the ground was played in April 1906 with 102,741 people in attendance, which established Hampden as the primary home of the Scotland team.
Attendances continued to increase during the remainder of the 1900s, as 121,452 saw the 1908 Scotland v England match. The two Old Firm matches played for the 1909 Scottish Cup Final attracted a total of 131,000. After the second match there was a riot because there was confusion over what would happen next when the second match also ended in a draw. The fans believed that the replay would be played to a conclusion and demanded that a period of extra time be played. The Scottish Cup trophy was withheld as Hampden was not in a fit condition to host a second replay. In response to the riot, the Scottish Football Association decided not to use Hampden as the Scottish Cup Final venue until after the First World War.
Queen's Park conducted extensive ground improvements after the 1909 riot. A new world record of 127,307 were in attendance to see Scotland play England in 1912. A fire in 1914 destroyed the pavilion, which was replaced by a four-storey structure with a press box on the roof. The Scottish Cup Final returned to Hampden in 1920, when a large crowd of 95,000 saw Kilmarnock win the cup against Albion Rovers. Record crowds attended the 1925 Scottish Cup Final, a 5–0 win for Celtic against Rangers, and the 1927 Scotland v England match, England's first win in the stadium. Hampden became the sole venue of the Scottish Cup Final after 1925 except in the 1990s when it was being renovated. Queen's Park purchased more land in 1923 to bring the total to 33 acres. 25,000 places were added to the terraces and rigid crush barriers were installed in 1927.
World record crowds attended Scotland matches against England in 1931 and 1933. In 1933, Austria, who had beaten Scotland 5–0 in Vienna in 1931, became the first foreign national side to visit Hampden Park. Further ground improvements increased the official capacity of the ground to 183,388 in 1937, but the SFA were only allowed to issue 150,000 tickets for games. The 1937 Scotland v England match had an official attendance of 149,415, but at least 20,000 more people entered the ground without tickets. A week later the 1937 Scottish Cup Final between Celtic and Aberdeen drew an official crowd of 147,365, with 20,000 more people locked outside.
During the Second World War, matches at heavily-attended grounds were initially prohibited due to the fear of aerial bombing by the Luftwaffe. Scottish national league and cup competitions were suspended for the duration of the war, but regional league and cup competitions were established in their place. Attendance was initially restricted to 50 percent of capacity; therefore, when 75,000 attended a wartime cup final in May 1940, it was the maximum permitted. The Parashots, a forerunner of the Home Guard, set up a command post at Lesser Hampden in 1940. A government official presented an order demanding that both the Hampden and Lesser Hampden pitches be ploughed and used to plant vegetables, but the Queen's Park committee chose to ignore the order and the government did not pursue it. Wartime internationals were played at Hampden, and 91,000 saw Scotland beat England 5–4 on 18 April 1942.
After the Second World War ended in 1945, Hampden started to host Scotland matches more frequently. Before then, Hampden had only hosted 15 matches against England and one match each against Austria and Czechoslovakia. During the post-war attendance boom, Hampden was the only stadium big enough to host the crowds who wanted to see the team. Matches that would have ordinarily attracted a crowd of 40,000 were being attended by nearly 100,000. The Hampden fixture list was also expanded by the new Scottish League Cup competition. In 1947, Rangers defeated Aberdeen in the first League Cup Final.
A fire on 25 December 1945 destroyed the stadium press box and damaged offices. The press box was replaced with a plainer two-storey structure that overhung the pitch. The capacity of the ground was cut to 135,000 following the Burnden Park disaster in Bolton.
The re-entry of the Home Nations into FIFA in 1947 was marked by a match between a Great Britain and a Rest of Europe select on 10 May 1947. Great Britain won 6–1 and 130,000 people attended. Unusually, a league match between Third Lanark and Hibernian was played immediately afterwards at Hampden because Cathkin Park was undergoing repair work. The first FIFA World Cup qualification match played at Hampden was a 2–0 win for Scotland against Wales on 9 November 1949; this match was also part of the 1950 British Home Championship. The win appeared to guarantee Scotland qualification for the 1950 FIFA World Cup because the top two finishers in the Championship were offered places in the tournament, but the SFA decreed that they would only send a team if they were British champions. Scotland only needed a draw against England at Hampden to meet that condition but lost 1–0.
The Coronation Cup, a competition to mark the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, was held in Glasgow during May 1953. Four major clubs from each of Scotland and England were invited, with the Old Firm clubs playing their matches at Hampden. Celtic and Hibernian progressed to the final, and a crowd of 117,060 saw Celtic win 2–0.
Scotland hosted the Magical Magyars of Hungary in December 1954 in front of 113,506 fans. The Scots put up a good fight against one of the most outstanding teams in the world at the time, but eventually lost 4–2. Scotland qualified for the 1958 FIFA World Cup by defeating Spain, including Luis Suarez, Ladislao Kubala and Alfredo Di Stéfano, at Hampden.
Hampden hosted the 1960 European Cup Final; Real Madrid defeated 7–3 Eintracht Frankfurt with 130,000 people in attendance. Floodlights were installed at Hampden in 1961 and were inaugurated with a friendly match between Eintracht Frankfurt and Rangers. The ground then also hosted the 1962 and 1966 finals of the European Cup Winners' Cup. The attendances for each of these finals was less than 50,000, and the SFA did not offer to host another European final until the 1976 European Cup Final, in which Bayern Munich defeated St Etienne. Until 1987, Hampden used square goalposts. St Etienne believed that two of their efforts which hit the square crossbar and rebounded into play would have resulted in goals if it had been round.
After Celtic won the 1967 European Cup Final, the home leg of their Intercontinental Cup tie against Racing Club was held at Hampden. Celtic won 1–0 at Hampden, but lost the tie after a play-off in Montevideo. In 1970, Celtic played in the semi-finals of the European Cup against English league champions, Leeds United. Celtic chose to move their home leg of the tie from their Celtic Park home to Hampden, which had a far greater capacity. A crowd of 136,505, a record for any match in UEFA competition, saw Celtic win 2–1 (3–1 on aggregate) to advance to the 1970 European Cup Final. Celtic also played European Cup ties against Ajax and Rosenborg at Hampden during the 1970s.
A fire was deliberately started in the south stand in October 1968, destroying offices, 1,400 seats and one of the team dressing rooms. The fire caused the 1968–69 Scottish League Cup Final to be postponed until April. By 1970 Hampden was starting to age as a stadium. Wembley had been revamped for the 1966 World Cup, while other major stadia were being constructed for tournaments. Public safety was emphasized after the Ibrox disaster of January 1971, when 66 spectators were crushed to death. A benefit match was played at Hampden, while the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975 compelled stadium authorities to obtain licences from local officials, impose crowd segregation and restrict attendances. Pittodrie and Ibrox were converted into all-seater stadiums, while Hampden's capacity was reduced to 81,000.
Scotland secured qualification for the 1974 FIFA World Cup at Hampden, with a 2–1 victory over Czechoslovakia. Kenny Dalglish scored the winning goal against England in 1976 by nutmegging Ray Clemence. In 1977, Scotland again won against Czechoslovakia to move towards qualification for the 1978 FIFA World Cup. Scotland played a friendly match against world champions Argentina in 1979; the talented, 18-year-old Diego Maradona scored a goal in a 3–1 win for the visitors.
During the late 1970s, it became apparent that the facilities at Hampden were in need of renewal. As an amateur club, Queen's Park could not possibly fund the works, while Glasgow District Council withdrew funding and the UK Government decided not to fund it either. Queen's Park considered selling Hampden, but a public appeal and minor repair work kept Hampden open during the 1980s. The riot after the 1980 Scottish Cup Final prompted reforms, as alcohol was banned from football stadia in Scotland.
The first phase of the redevelopment involved the demolition of the North Stand, the concreting of all terraces and the building a block of turnstiles around the upper section of the East Terrace. This work, begun in October 1981 and completed in 1986, reduced the capacity to 74,370 and cost £3 million. A second phase had been planned to begin in 1988, but the release of the Taylor Report caused the plans to be redrawn and the proposed costs escalated to £25 million. Scotland hosted the 1989 FIFA Under-16 World Cup, with the Scots contesting the final against Saudi Arabia at Hampden.
After the cancellation of the annual Scotland v England fixture in 1989, questions were raised as to whether Scottish football required a separate national stadium. Rangers proposed Ibrox as an alternative venue, while Murrayfield was about to be redeveloped without public funding. None of these arguments impressed the National Stadium committee, which consisted of the SFA, Scottish Football League and Queen's Park. The West Terrace was converted to seating in 1991 for only £700,000, but this left two terraces and therefore disqualified Hampden from hosting FIFA World Cup qualification matches.
The UK Government eventually provided a grant of £3.5 million in 1992, which allowed work to begin on a £12 million project to convert Hampden into an all-seater stadium. The last match played in front of the sloping terraces was the 1992 Scottish League Cup Final. Within a year, the east and west ends of the ground had been replaced and the partially rebuilt Hampden was re-opened for a friendly match between Scotland and Netherlands on 23 March 1994. It was then also used for the later stages of the 1993–94 Scottish Cup competition. As the capacity of the old South Stand had been limited to 4,500, the total capacity of Hampden had been reduced to approximately 37,000. With Celtic Park also undergoing extensive redevelopment to become all-seater, Celtic spent the 1994–95 season groundsharing at Hampden, at a cost of £500,000 rent.
The final stage of the renovation began in November 1997, with its £59 million cost funded by the National Lottery. There was a cost overrun and a fraud squad investigated alleged financial irregularities. The South Stand was replaced and the stadium was re-opened for the 1999 Scottish Cup Final. The ground now has a capacity of 51,866. Queen's Park retained ownership of the ground, with the SFA holding a lease due to run until 2020.
Real Madrid were again victorious when Hampden Park hosted the 2002 UEFA Champions League Final, defeating Bayer Leverkusen, with Zinedine Zidane scoring the winning goal with a left-foot volley. Hampden has since hosted the 2007 UEFA Cup Final and was one of the venues for football at the 2012 Summer Olympics. One of the 2012 Olympics matches was delayed after the North Korean team protested against the flag of South Korea being used to represent their players. Later in 2012, a Scotland women's national football team game was played at Hampden for the first time, when it hosted the first leg of a European Championship qualifying playoff against Spain.
Hampden was temporarily converted into an athletics stadium for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. It hosted its last international game before the conversion work on 15 November 2013 and Queen's Park are playing their home games at the Excelsior Stadium in Airdrie. Due to the works being carried out at the Olympic Stadium, the 2014 London Grand Prix was by hosted by Hampden. The conversion works involved the removal of eight rows of seating, which reduced the capacity to 44,000. Hampden was converted back into a football stadium after the Commonwealth Games.
In September 2014, Hampden was one of 13 venues chosen to host matches in the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament.
The football match crowd at Hampden were renowned for creating the Hampden Roar and trying to terrify opposing teams. The stadium's capacity exceeded 100,000 from the early 1900s until the 1980s and the Roar could be heard whenever Scotland scored an important goal. After the renovation of the stadium and the reduced capacities, the roar has become more muted.
The Hampden Roar was first noticed in a game against England in 1929. Scotland, who had played the second half with ten players due to an injury to Alex Jackson, equalised in the final minute with a goal from Alec Cheyne direct from a corner kick. The roar that followed the goal was so loud that Jackson, who was a mile away in the Glasgow Victoria Infirmary, could tell that Scotland had scored.
The phrase Hampden Roar is also used as rhyming slang. People from Glasgow may ask, "What's the Hampden?", by which they mean "What is the score?" or "How are you?".
Hampden is an all-seated bowl stadium, although the ground is split into four geographic sections, officially known as the North, East, South and West Stands. Due to the dominance of the Old Firm within Scottish football and their regular qualification for cup matches played at Hampden, the East and West stands are commonly known as the Celtic and Rangers ends. The East Stand has 12,800 seats on a single tier of 53 rows. The two end stands are up to 140 metres away from the pitch, due to Hampden retaining its bowl shape after it was redeveloped. This distance is almost as great as if Hampden included an athletics track, although the distance between the pitch and the two side stands is more comparable to a normal football stadium.
The South Stand is the main stand of the stadium, as it holds the technical areas, dressing rooms, indoor warm-up area, executive boxes, lounges and media facilities. It has been sponsored by BT Scotland since 1998. The South Stand is also the only part of the stadium split into two tiers, although there is also a small gallery above the North Stand that has 290 seats and access to lounges. The North Stand accommodates 9,100 spectators in 46 rows. The total capacity of the stadium is 51,866. The capacity was temporarily reduced to 44,000 for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, as the running track raised the field level by 1.9 metres.
The redeveloped Hampden has held the top status with the various UEFA stadium categories, holding category four status. The Scottish Football Museum, which opened in 2001, is located within Hampden. Part of the museum is the Scottish Football Hall of Fame. A distinctive feature of the old Hampden, the press box which sat on the roof of the old South Stand, is also exhibited at the museum. The offices of the Scottish Football Association, Scottish Premier League and Scottish Football League are all located within Hampden.
Lesser Hampden is a football stadium located immediately beside the western end of Hampden Park. The ground was constructed in the early 1920s after additional ground was purchased to expand the main stadium. Queen's Park proposed in 1990 to sell off Lesser Hampden to fund redevelopment works on the main stadium, but this was rejected by planners. It is used by Queen's Park for training, reserve team matches and youth football. Lesser Hampden was refurbished for use as a warm-up area during the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Hampden Park has held four full rugby union international matches. The first was in 1906, when the Scottish Rugby Union chose to play their match against the touring South Africans at Hampden because no rugby ground could satisfy the demand to see the visitors. A crowd of over 30,000 saw Scotland win 6–0. The redeveloped Hampden served as one of the 1999 Rugby World Cup venues, over 90 years later. Scotland played Romania in a friendly match before the tournament and South Africa played Uruguay in a tournament pool match. The only rugby union international played at Hampden since then was in November 2004, between Scotland and Australia.
Hampden hosted the Scottish Amateur Athletics Association championships during the 1920s and 1930s, with the original Meadowbank Stadium used as an alternative venue. Eric Liddell won the 110, 220 and 440 yard dashes in the 1924 championship. His last competition in Britain was the 1925 championship, when he won the 220 yards race for a record fifth time. Hampden was temporarily converted to stage the athletics events for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. It was also used for the closing ceremony.
Suzanne Lenglen, the French professional tennis player, played an exhibition match against Vivian Dewhurst at Hampden in 1927. A crowd of 10,000 saw that match and another between male players Howard Kinsey and Karel Koželuh.
During the Second World War, American armed forces based in Scotland played games of softball, baseball and American football at Hampden. American football returned to Hampden in 1998, when the NFL Europe team Scottish Claymores shared home games between Hampden and Murrayfield. World Bowl XI was held at Hampden in 2003, but after the 2004 season the Claymores folded and were replaced by the Hamburg Sea Devils.
Hampden was the home of the Glasgow Tigers speedway team from 1969 until 1972. Poor crowds, escalating costs and the refusal of the city council to allow music to be played at events contributed to the team moving to Cliftonhill, in Coatbridge.
The redeveloped Hampden was the venue for a boxing card headlined by former world champion Mike Tyson in June 2000. Tyson knocked down Lou Savarese after just 12 seconds of the fight, which the referee stopped after 38 seconds. The fight ended in farce as the referee, who had been attempting to separate the two fighters, was also knocked down by Tyson. The disappointed crowd booed Tyson out of the ring, while former fighters Jim Watt and Barry McGuigan criticised his actions. After the fight, Tyson claimed that he wanted to eat the children of world champion Lennox Lewis, which also drew criticism.
Genesis and Paul Young performed in the first concert at Hampden, in 1987. The Rolling Stones played there in 1990, during their Urban Jungle Tour. Since the redevelopment of Hampden was completed in 1999, many acts have performed there, including The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, Tina Turner, Bon Jovi, Eagles, U2, Oasis, George Michael, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Diamond, Take That, AC/DC, Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay, Pink, Paul McCartney, Rihanna, and Beyoncé. The damage caused to the Hampden pitch by a U2 concert in August 2009 forced a Queen's Park league match to be postponed.
The 50th anniversary Conventicle of the Boys' Brigade, which had been founded in Glasgow by William Alexander Smith, was staged at Hampden in 1933. 130,000 people were inside the ground, while another 100,000 stood outside singing Psalms.
American evangelical Christian missionary Billy Graham had an "All Scotland Crusade" during the spring of 1955. The major outdoor event of the tour was at Hampden, where a crowd of 100,000 heard him speak.
The highest attendance recorded at Hampden for a football match was 149,415, for the 1937 British Home Championship tie between Scotland and England. This is still a European record for an international match. The 1937 Scottish Cup Final between Celtic and Aberdeen drew an official crowd of 147,365, a world record for a club match, with 20,000 more people locked outside. Hampden set world attendance records that year that were only surpassed by the Maracanã, and it still holds all the major European records. The European Cup match between Celtic and Leeds United in 1970 was attended by 136,505, which is a UEFA competition record.
Since the redevelopment of Hampden was completed in 1999, the capacity for sporting events is now limited to 52,063. Attendances for concerts can be higher than this as people are allowed onto the pitch area. In 2009, more people attended concerts at Hampden than football matches. Hampden regularly has crowds of below 1,000 for Queen's Park matches in the lower divisions of the Scottish football league system. Queen's Park have not played in the top division of Scottish football since 1958.
The nearest railway stations are Mount Florida and King's Park. Both stations are served by trains from Glasgow Central on the Cathcart Circle Lines. First Glasgow operate several bus routes in the area surrounding Hampden. There is a stadium car park immediately behind the south stand, but for major events this is only available to permit holders. Public car parking is provided by City Parking Glasgow on the Queens Park recreational ground and the Toryglen playing fields.