UEFA European Championship Bill: BRIA

Business Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA) for the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Act 2020 and associated secondary legislation.

Purpose and intended effect


To commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the European Football Championship in 2020, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) is providing a "EURO for Europe" and has awarded twelve cities and countries the opportunity to host matches, including Glasgow.

The Championship will take place from 12 June to 12 July 2020. Hampden Park in Glasgow will host three group matches (15, 19 and 23 June) and one round of 16 match (30 June). A Local Organising Committee (LOC) has been created to help deliver the event. Members of this Committee are the Scottish Football Association, Scottish Ministers, Glasgow City Council, Hampden Park Limited, VisitScotland and Police Scotland.

The Championship as a whole presents a significant economic opportunity for Scotland. It will provide another opportunity for Scotland to demonstrate to the world that Glasgow is a vibrant, cosmopolitan, dynamic city, building on the legacy of the Commonwealth Games. The Scottish Government believes that the event will reinforce Scotland's and, in particular, Glasgow's reputation internationally as a major event and tourist destination.

This Business Regulatory Impact Assessment outlines the evidence, engagement and careful consideration that has been undertaken in relation to the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Act 2020 (the Act) and associated secondary legislation.


The Scottish Government aims to drive sustainable economic growth and enhance Scotland's international reputation (in particular as a place to live, work, study, visit and invest) through delivery of the national tourism strategy, 'Tourism Scotland 2020', and the national events strategy, 'Scotland the Perfect Stage'.

The key objectives of the policy delivered by the Act and regulations are:

  • To prohibit the unscrupulous touting of match tickets, often at significantly inflated prices, both in person and by electronic methods;
  • To meet UEFA's requirements for hosting the tournament in relation to protecting commercial rights and preventing ambush marketing;
  • To protect the character and integrity of the Championship by eliminating inappropriate advertising and street trading;
  • To control advertising (including giving away merchandise) in designated areas to ensure the safety and the free flow of spectators to and from the event zones, including accessing the Championship venue;
  • To ensure that the Championship has a consistent "celebratory" look and feel across all 12 host cities; and
  • To maintain and develop Scotland's reputation as a place to host successful major events.

The Scottish Government has ensured that the measures in the Act and regulations are targeted and proportionate, and draw upon the experience from the 2014 Commonwealth Games, which was the last major event in Scotland for which primary legislation was prepared. The proposals for street trading and advertising are intended to allow the vast majority of businesses in Glasgow to operate as normal while ensuring that the Championship interests and related objectives are not compromised.

Rationale for Government intervention

Current laws in Scotland are not adequate to implement the Rights Protection Programme in accordance with UEFA's requirements to host the Championship and so the Act and regulations will help to ensure successful delivery of the Championship by meeting these requirements during the period of the event. The Act prohibits ticket touting, which is considered to benefit the public as a whole. The legislation strengthens restrictions on street trading and advertising. It does not make provision in relation to any of the broader preparations that are underway to host the Championship, nor will it apply to any other events.

Much of this legislation is designed to tackle ambush marketing. Major events such as the UEFA European Championship attract large audiences and have positive values associated with their brand. They are, therefore, attractive to businesses seeking to promote their goods or services. Such businesses pay significant sums to the organisers of these events to become official sponsors, thereby securing the right to promote themselves and their goods or services as associated with the event.

If sponsors do not have confidence in the exclusivity of such sponsorships rights, their value as a source of revenue can become eroded. Ambush marketing describes the actions of companies or advertisers who seek to capture these benefits for themselves without the authorisation of the event organisers. If unregulated, such activity can prove very lucrative for those organisations as they gain the benefits of association without paying the sponsorship fee. Not paying this fee also allows them to direct greater levels of resource at traditional marketing activities. Such practices can frustrate an event's ability to attract commercial investment and undermine its revenue base. Many sponsors now insist that protection against such tactics is in place before they commit.

The sale of such sponsorship rights provides a significant revenue stream for events which might otherwise have to rely more heavily on public subsidy.

The short term, high profile nature of the Championship leaves it vulnerable to ambush marketing strategies which could operate successfully within the law currently and so additional protection through the Act and regulations is required.

Demand for tickets for the Championship is expected to exceed supply. Government intervention is therefore also considered necessary to prohibit ticket touting of match tickets.

In the absence of the Act and regulations it is considered highly likely that ticket touting and unauthorised advertising and street trading would occur and that it would not be possible to provide the necessary level of rights protection required to host the event.

The Act and regulations provide for three event zones in Glasgow where street trading and advertising restrictions will apply: Hampden Park, the Merchant City, and George Square. Subject to Parliamentary approval of the regulations, the event zones are proposed to be in operation as follows;

  • George Square zone: 10 June to 12 July 2020
  • Hampden Park zone: 1 June to 30 June 2020
  • Merchant City zone: 14, 15, 18, 19, 22, 23, 29 and 30 June 2020

The provisions related to ticket touting apply throughout and outwith Scotland, and prohibit ticket touting in person and by electronic methods. The legislation contains an exemption from the offence for auctions of tickets where the proceeds are given to a charity and a partial exemption for UEFA, as the only authorised seller of tickets in the primary and secondary market.

The Act provides for the enforcement of measures related to trading, advertising and ticket touting by designated enforcement officers. These will be drawn from the existing pool of experienced officers at Glasgow City Council, although consideration is currently underway of whether secondments from other local authorities will be required. Police Scotland may also enforce the legislation.

The package of subordinate legislation consists of:

  • Trading and Advertising (Scotland) Regulations 2020;
  • Ticket Touting Offence (Exceptions for Use of Internet etc.) (Scotland) Regulations 2020; and
  • Compensation for Enforcement Action (Scotland) Regulations 2020.

Overall, the aim of the Act and regulations is to ensure the right balance between supporting local traders, minimising disruption for local people and businesses while protecting the integrity of the Championship by restricting street trading and advertising in event zones. These measures will help to ensure successful delivery of the event.

In particular, the legislation supports the achievements and outcomes of the Scottish Government's National Performance Framework[1] , Scotland's Events Strategy[2] and, Scotland's Economic Strategy[3].

  • We have a globally competitive, entrepreneurial, inclusive and sustainable economy;
  • We are open, connected and make a positive contribution internationally;
  • There must be sustained support for and investment in events and business events from private, public and third sectors. Gaining this support requires a clear demonstration of value to those investing; and
  • Promote Scotland's international brand, and showcase both Scotland and Scottish goods and services internationally and secure major international cultural and sporting events.


Email: UEFAEuro2020@gov.scot

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