28 Sep 2018
AT least half a billion pounds has been contributed to the city’s economy since the SSE Hydro opened its doors five years ago, The Evening Times has revealed.
Glasgow’s newspaper reported this week that the venue, which turns five years old this Sunday, has performed beyond expectations, attracting an audience of more than five million concert-goers from the first concert, by Rod Stewart, on September 30, 2013.
Peter Duthie, chief executive of the Scottish Event Campus said: “I can say with some confidence, since it opened, it would have contributed half a billion pounds to the Glasgow economy.”
A total of 5,094,032 concert goers have attended over 373 events at the venue, a figure which surpassed Peter’s expectations.
He said: “The business plan for the Hydro was based on 700,000 visitors a year and we have been doing over a million which is fantastic, so it has exceeded our expectations for sure. We were confident that it would do well but not quite as well as it has done.
“During the process of doing the business case for the Hydro, we found that people in Scotland attend live music more than anywhere else in UK.
“We knew that Glasgow had a reputation for being a lively audience that the artist loved but we had to get some statistics behind the number of people who actually attend.”
The £125million arena, designed by Foster + Partners, was just pipped to the top spot of the world’s busiest arenas in 2017 by the 02 Arena in London; Madison Square Garden in New York and Manchester Arena.
Peter Duthie has seen the business grow to what it has become today during his 35-year career at the Scottish Event Campus, and he admits the Hydro is something he is particularly proud of.
He told the Evening Times: “I’m really proud of it and as you may be aware I have a long association with the business. We are very proud of what has been achieved but it’s been delivered by the people of Glasgow who have come out and supported the venue. We just gave them something which was worthy of their status as some of the world’s best fans.”
He added: “There is a really strong pipeline for next year with lots more A-list artists coming and there is nothing to suggest that live entertainment is going to do anything other than continue to thrive.
“I would like to think the Hydro would continue to do around one million visitors a year, possibly increasing a little bit. Scotland should be proud of the Hydro, it’s very much a success story for Glasgow.”
Glasgow Chamber chief executive Stuart Patrick said: “The Hydro effect is a real success story for Glasgow, completely transforming an area while also emphasising the importance of a city’s capacity for hosting large events. A lot of different sectors benefit from the regular influx of visitors, filling up hotels, bars, restaurants and taxi queues for conferences, exhibitions, concerts and shows. A world-class venue which is a true asset to Glasgow and the wider economy.”