The Numberís Donít Add Up Ė Wales/Scotland 2016
It has been suggested today that Ďtentativeí talks have taken place about the possibility of Wales/Scotland launching a joint bid for the 2016 European Championships. This is not the first time a celtic bid has been mooted involving Scotland and Wales or Ireland, an idea I find a bit strange.
Letís look at the facts, the Euroís will be expanded to 24 teams by then, which will require at least 10 host stadia. All host stadia must be above 30,000 in capacity, with three above 40,000 and with a Uefa 4 star rating and one above 50,000 with a 5 star Uefa rating. Another thing to take into account is that Eufa do not like too many stadia from the same city/area and like the tournament to be spread around the host country/ies.
Celtic Park (60,857)
Ibrox Park (51,082)
Hampden Park (52,103)
So far only these four stadiums meet Uefa requirements. Ibrox and Hampden are both possible final destinations as both have 5 star ratings. Celtic Park is a 4 star stadium. However 3 of these stadia are in Glasgow and Uefa would only use two. Substantial development would be needed in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Dundee, Inverness etc to even get close to Uefa criteria. Infrastructure and transportation would not be a problem for Scotland in hosting Euro 2016, however if it was looking to Wales to ease itís stadium problem it is in for a shock. Letís look at the daffodil nation.
Millenium Stadium (74,500)
One Stadium! The Millenium Stadium is the largest in Scotland/Wales and has a Uefa 5 star rating. However there are currently no other stadiums in Wales which meet Uefa standards for hosting a major tournament. The new stadium at Leckwith will be 26,500 with provision for 30,000+, but will bring problems with a lack of diversity as mentioned in Glasgow. The Liberty is stuck at 20,000 and cannot be developed further. The new Llanelli stadium and proposed new stadium in Newport would both have to be doubled in size to be considered, likewise the racecourse. Like with Scotland, transport and infrastructure would not really be a problem for Wales, the one benefit.
There are a host of other bids and joint bids for Uefa to consider, however my pick would be France. With 11 stadiums already over the 30,000 mark and three new stadiums planned for Strasbourg, Lille and Lyon, coupled with the superb rail and tourism infrastructure , there is no better choice. The only other bid which should be seriously considered should be that of Turkey.