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Official Review by Gary Foxall, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
Hampden Park is the home of the Scotland National soccer team and also hosts the home games of second division club Queen's Park. The stadium is used as the venue for all domestic cup semi finals and finals. Hampden has an all seated capacity of around 52,103 following complete redevelopment in 1999, but the record attendance for the ground was 149,415 set in 1937 for a game against England. One of the photographs shows the stadium prior to redevelopment.
Hampden Park has also hosted three European Cup Finals, Two Winners Cup Finals and a UEFA Cup Final. The stadium is the home of the Scotland Football Association, Scotland National Football Museum and a regular Pop Concert venue. It will also be used as a soccer venue for the London 2012 Olympics. Along with Celtic Park and Ibrox Stadium - the homes of Celtic and Rangers, respectively - Hampden is one of three large football grounds in the city of Glasgow. The stadium has a continuous roof and provides decent views from any seat, and the seats at either end are formed in the shape of the Scottish flag.
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Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
For Internationals and big cup games there will be numerous fast food stalls leading up to the stadium. However for Queen's Park games you will need to buy your food within the stadium. Food served up here is of a good standard with the Hampden Pie priced at £2.00 and other pies including a Cheesy Bean Veggie pie available for £2.50. Hot Dogs £4.50, chips and hot and cold drinks are also available within the stadium concourse. The approach roads to Hampden are well populated with the traditional British Chip Shops.
The atmosphere for Scotland games will rival that of any other stadium when the team are doing well. However like most redeveloped stadiums the atmosphere will never replicate that of its predecessor. In the days when Hampden was a jungle of concrete terracing the Hampden Roar could be heard across the other side of the city when the stadium regularly held crowds in excess of 120,000 spectators. For Queen's Park games, attendances will barely reach 500 spectators per game which is average for this level of the Scottish game.
Hampden Park is located in the Glasgow district of Mount Florida but don't be fooled by the name. There is little around the stadium to fill in time before a game. Most supporters spend their pre game hours in Glasgow City centre which is approximately fifteen minutes away. Glasgow offers a wide variety of attractions, parks, Gardens and shopping centres and details can be obtained from the Scottish Tourist Board.
Scotland have some of the most passionate supporters within international football and are well known for taking large numbers of well behaved fans to away games and major tournaments when they qualify. Known as the Tartan Army, a Scotland supporters other favourite pastime is supporting any opposition team that rivals England are playing. Diego Maradona is still a cult figure in Scotland following his famous "Hand of God" goal against England in 1986. Queens Park supporters are also a loyal bunch and although home games are only watched by 500 or so this is good for the level they play at.
The stadium can be accessed by road using the M74, M73 and M8 motorways then following signs to Mount Florida. The stadium is well signposted and parking is available in the adjoining side streets. There is a large car park at the stadium behind the South Stand which can be used by the paying public for Queens Park games. However this is normally reserved for Officials for the bigger games. If arriving by train, then there are regular trains that run to Mount Florida and Kings Park stations which are a mere five minutes walk. Regular buses also run from the City Centre to Mount Florida.
Entry to Queen's Park games is in the region of £10 for League and Cup games and offers good value for this level of football. Cup Finals and Scotland games will be £25 or more, but are still cheaper than watching rivals England at Wembley. In general the majority of football games in Scotland are fast and furious and tend to be good value for money.
Stadium Tours lasting approximately forty minutes are well priced at £3 if booked in conjunction with a visit to the National Football Museum which costs around £6. Betting shops are available on the stadium concourse. Match day programmes for Scotland games are always available at around £3 with Queen's Park programmes costing £2 per game.
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