The SSE Hydro

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Coordinates: 55°51′37″N 4°17′06″W / 55.860297°N 4.284926°W / 55.860297; -4.284926

SSE Hydro
The Hydro
SSE Hydro logo.png
SSE Hydro in Glasgow.jpg
Former names Scotlands National Arena (planning)
Scottish Hydro Arena (construction)
Location Exhibition Way
Finnieston, Glasgow G3 8YW
Public transit Exhibition Centre railway station
Owner SEC Ltd
Operator AEG Live
Capacity 13,000
Broke ground February 2011
Opened 30 September 2013 (2013-09-30)
Construction cost £125 million
Architect Foster and Partners
Project manager Turner & Townsend
Structural engineer Arup Group Limited
General contractor Lend Lease
Venue Website

The SSE Hydro is a multi-purpose indoor arena located on the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow, Scotland. The arena is named after its main sponsor, energy company SSE plc. The arena was designed by the London-based architects Foster + Partners and officially opened on 30 September 2013, with a concert by Rod Stewart.[1]

The SSE Hydro handled 751,487 ticket sales in 2016, making it the eighth-busiest music arena in the world in terms of ticket sales.[2]


The SECC identified the need for a new arena in which sports and other public events could be held. Previously, such events were held in Concert Hall 4, in the SECC main building. However, the venue's audience capacity is limited, seating just over 10,000. Therefore, it is unable to accommodate the high attendance typically associated with large-scale performance events, such as rock concerts and children’s shows. The new arena is located with the SEC Centre and the SEC Armadillo and hosts international musical stars, global entertainment and sporting events, with an aim to attract one million visitors each year. [3]

World's Busiest Arenas – 2016[4]
Venue 2016 Ticket sales for concerts/shows
The O2 Arena, London, UK 1,590,093
Madison Square Garden, NY, USA 1,053,675
AccorHotels Arena, Amsterdam, NL 873,906
Manchester Arena, Manchester, UK 851,785
Mexico City Arena, Mexico City, Mexico 833,926
Lanxess Arena, Cologne, Germany 823,211
Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY, USA 757,141
The SSE Hydro, Glasgow, UK 751,487
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, CA 702,516
The Forum, Inglewood, USA 701,601


Translucent cushions being installed, July 2013.

Planning for the SSE Hydro began some time in 2001 as the second redevelopment of the Queens Dock in Glasgow. By 2003, a plan had been unveiled for a £125 million entertainment arena, holding 12,000 seated audience members and 1,000 standing. London-based architects Foster and Partners were appointed as the design team for the Hydro by 2004 with Glasgow-based Elphinsone additionally appointed as the preferred developer for the site. The design of the arena was finally released to the press by 2005, and the SECC gained full planning consent for the arena by 2006. Construction for the arena finally began in February 2011 by construction company Lend Lease. By November 2011, building work for the roof of the arena had begun, which was completed by April 2013. The arena's signature translucent outer cushions were installed in May 2013, along with the seating inside of the arena, marking construction of the arena completed, taking two years to complete.[5]


At approximately 3:20 pm on 8 June 2013,[6] flames were reported to be coming from the domed roof of the partially completed building.[7] Forty fire fighters from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service attended the blaze.[8] It was determined that the fire was caused by ongoing welding work on the building's roof.[9][10] On 18 June, the venue's operator revealed that despite additional challenges, work on the venue was still on track.[11]


Professional Wrestling[edit]

On November 7 and 8, 2016, American-based professional wrestling company WWE hosted Monday Night RAW and SmackDown Live, which marked the first time a televised taping for WWE took place in Scotland. WWE had hosted events at the SSE Hydro before, but never a televised taping. On November 20, 2016, Glasgow-based professional wrestling company Insane Championship Wrestling held their annual "Fear & Loathing IX" event, with an announced official attendance of 6,193.


The SSE Hydro in October 2013

On December 14, 2014 the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award ceremony was held at the venue.[12] During the 2014 Commonwealth Games the SSE Hydro was home to the netball and gymnastic events.[13] On July 18, 2015 the UFC held their inaugural Scottish event UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Leites at the Hydro.[14] From October 23 to November 1, 2015 the SSE Hydro hosted the Artistic gymnastics world championships.[15]


The SSE Hydro was host to the largest televised debate seen in Scotland's history, Scotland Decides: The Big, Big Debate, held on September 11, 2014 towards the end of the Scottish independence referendum, 2014 campaign. The Mentorn/BBC Scotland organised debate, in which every secondary school in Scotland was invited to take part, involved around 7,500 first time voters and was broadcast on BBC One during the evening of 11 September 2014[16] and was presented by James Cook.[17]


  1. ^ "Timeline". Retrieved 2016-02-09. 
  2. ^ "Pollstar 2016 top 200 arena ticket sales" (PDF). 
  3. ^ "Timeline – The SSE Hydro". June 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2016. 
  4. ^ "TOP 200 ARENA VENUES 2016" (PDF). 31 December 2016. 
  5. ^ "Timeline". Retrieved 2016-02-10. 
  6. ^ "Fire hits city's £125m Hydro venue". Paisley Daily Express. 8 June 2013. Retrieved 8 June 2013. 
  7. ^ "Glasgow Hydro fire: Crews tackle blaze in domed roof". BBC News. 8 June 2013. Retrieved 8 June 2013. 
  8. ^ "Firefighters tackle blaze at Hydro concert venue on the River Clyde". STV. 8 June 2013. Retrieved 8 June 2013. 
  9. ^ "Welder's torch blamed for starting huge fire at Glasgow's new £125m Hydro arena". Daily Record. 9 June 2013. Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  10. ^ "Glasgow Hydro fire: Blaze caused by welding sparks". BBC News. 10 June 2013. Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  11. ^ "Glasgow Hydro venue construction 'remains on target' despite fire". The Courier. 18 June 2013. Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  12. ^ "BBC Sports Personality 2014: Shortlisted named for award". BBC. BBC. Retrieved 14 December 2014. 
  13. ^ "SSE Hydro confirmed as host venue for Games Netball Final". Glasgow 2014. Retrieved 2016-02-10. 
  14. ^ "UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Leites". UFC. Retrieved 2016-02-10. 
  15. ^ "The SSE Hydro – 2015 World Gymnastics Championships". Retrieved 2016-02-10. 
  16. ^ Taylor, Marianne; Fraser, Graham; Sayers, Louise; Currie, Martin (11 September 2014). "Referendum Live – as it happened". BBC News (Scotland), n.d. BBC. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  17. ^ "Scottish independence: Plans announced for Scotland's 'biggest ever debate'". BBC News. Retrieved 23 June 2014. 

External links[edit]