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How Dundee could have been a host city for the European Championships

With Scotland preparing to kick off its campaign in Germany on Friday at the European Championships (Euros), excitement is building!

It can be sometimes hard to believe however that Dundee was once close to hosting its own match at a Euros tournament.

It all goes back to 2000, when there were proposals for all of the Celtic nations to have a joint bid to host the 2008 tournament.

However, the Scottish Football Association (SFA) chair at the time, David Taylor, had announced plans to have a solo bid for Scotland.

A solo bid was initially backed by the Scottish government back in 2001, however that support was later pulled by then First Minister Jack McConnell, who said that a joint bid would have made more sense, and more economically viable.

So by 2002, Scotland and Ireland agreed a joint bid to host the Euros in 2008 and the plan was to have matches hosted in six cities in Scotland and Ireland.

One of those cities happened to be Dundee.

For Dundee, it would have had the potential to see a new stadium built to replace the existing grounds in the city - and they would have had a capacity of 31,400.

The new stadium in Dundee would have replaced Dens Park, owned by Dundee, and Tannadice Park, owned by Dundee United.

It is uncommon for professional football in the UK to have both football clubs sharing a stadium, so this would have been quite something had the bid been successful.

The new stadium would have been built on the western side of Caird Park, opposite where the Dundee and Angus College campus is now.

The Scottish Claymores American football team would have also moved from Hampden Park to play their matches at the new Dundee stadium, which would have also had a retractable roof.

The joint bid by Scotland and Ireland for Euro 2008 was a strategic move to showcase their rich footballing heritage and top-notch facilities.

Ultimately, the bid fell short, as Austria and Switzerland clinched the hosting rights. Dundee, along with Scotland and Ireland's hopes, were dashed, underscoring the importance of investing in sports infrastructure and meticulous planning.

Today, new football stadiums are still a hot topic in Dundee, with Dundee FC hoping to move into a new stadium at Camperdown Park in the coming years. This ambition reflects the city's ongoing commitment to enhancing its sports facilities and infrastructure.

And while Scotland is technically hosting the Euros in 2028 with a successful UK-Ireland bid, Glasgow will be the only Scottish city hosting tournament matches.

However, Dundee's dream of hosting major sporting events remains alive. Dundee may not be hosting the Euros now, but who's to say that it won't ever happen?

The Scotland-Ireland joint Euro 2008 bid opened up an opportunity for Dundee to be a contender for hosting sporting competitions on both a national and international level.

In the meantime, we can look forward to supporting Scotland in the Euros this year in Germany. With a talented squad and passionate fans, Scotland’s participation in Euro 2024 promises to bring excitement and pride to the nation.

Whether watching from home or travelling to Germany, Scottish fans will undoubtedly create an electrifying atmosphere as they cheer on their team. The participation not only demonstrates Scotland's football skills but also enhances the nation's sporting ethos and solidarity.


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