|Owner||Scottish Rugby Union|
|Operator||Scottish Rugby Union|
|Public transit access||Haymarket railway station|
|Scottish Rugby Union
Heart of Midlothian
Murrayfield Stadium (usually just known as Murrayfield) is a sports stadium located in the west end of Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. Its all-seater capacity was recently reduced from 67,800 to 67,144 to incorporate the largest permanent "big screens" in the country, though it remains the largest stadium in Scotland and one of the largest in the United Kingdom overall.
The stadium is the home of the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU), and is primarily used as a venue for rugby union and hosts most of Scotland's home test matches, as well as the Edinburgh Sevens, the Scottish Hydro Electric Cup final, as well as Pro12 and Heineken Cup matches.
Although mainly a rugby union stadium, Murrayfield has in the past hosted American football, rugby league and association football matches and music concerts. One of the most notable of the latter was the Edinburgh 50,000 - The Final Push concert as part of Live 8.
It has good public transport links, being particularly well-served by bus routes along the Corstorphine Road. Despite the line running adjacent to the stadium, its nearest railway station is Haymarket, which is a one mile walk away.
The new Murrayfield Stadium tram stop is located close to the Stadium in Roseburn Street. The tram stop is expected to open in 2014 and will be served by Edinburgh Trams on a line between the city centre and Edinburgh Airport, also connecting with ScotRail train services at Haymarket and Edinburgh Park stations.
The SRU bought some land and built the first Murrayfield, which was opened on 21 March 1925. Previous internationals had been played at Inverleith. The first visitors were England, whom Scotland beat to win their first Five Nations Championship Grand Slam.
During the Second World War the ground at Murrayfield was offered to the nation and was taken over by the Royal Army Service Corps and used as a supply depot. During the war years the armed forces sports authorities managed to arrange two Scotland v. England services internationals each year, on a home-and-away basis. Scotland's home matches were played at Inverleith for the first two years with a return to Murrayfield in 1944 after that ground's derequisition. In 1994, Murrayfield completed a 50 million pound renovation where floodlights were installed for the first time.
Murrayfield is used for most Scottish international rugby union matches, with all Scotland's Six Nations home games being played in the stadium. The stadium also hosts Edinburgh Rugby, one of Scotland's two professional sides in the Pro12 that features teams from Ireland, Wales and Italy. (For Pro12 matches, only the lower tier of the West Stand is typically used.) From 2007 to 2011, Murrayfield hosted the Edinburgh 7s, then the final event in the annual IRB Sevens World Series in rugby sevens, but that tournament was moved to Glasgow starting in 2012 due to low attendance. Murrayfield hosted select matches from the 2007 Rugby World Cup. The stadium also hosted the Heineken Cup Final in 2005, when Toulouse beat Stade Français by 18 points to 12, and again in 2009, with Leinster defeating Leicester by 19 points to 16.
Murrayfield has also hosted football matches. Local Scottish Premier League side Heart of Midlothian F.C. (Hearts) started using Murrayfield as their home venue for their European campaign in the 2004–05 season as Tynecastle did not meet the UEFA criteria. Competitive matches against Sporting Braga, Ferencvaros, Schalke, AEK Athens, Siroki Brijeg and Sparta Prague have been played at Murrayfield. This practice has since stopped, however, as Hearts made adjustments to ensure that Tynecastle complies with UEFA regulations. Additionally, both Hearts and Hibernian have played preseason friendlies against FC Barcelona at Murrayfield.
Although a union stadium, Murrayfield hosted the rugby league Rugby League Challenge Cup finals in 2000, 2002 and 2003. The stadium began hosting rugby league's Super League Magic Weekend in 2009, taking over from the Millennium Stadium.
Murrayfield has played host to American football and was one of two home venues for the now defunct Scottish Claymores in the NFL Europa between 1995 and 2004, the other being Hampden Park in Glasgow. Additionally, it hosted World Bowl IV on 23 June 1996. It has been mentioned as a potential future host site for the NFL International Series, should the National Football League add future games outside the series' current permanent home, Wembley Stadium in London.
English rock group Oasis played a sold-out show on 17 June 2009, as part of their world tour. This was the last time they would play a concert in Scotland and the second time they had played the stadium, the first being on their Standing on the Shoulder of Giants Tour in 2000.
It has a 100 m running track by the main stand.
In October 2012, SRU chief executive Mark Dodson told the BBC that it was actively seeking a name sponsor for Murrayfield:
The single biggest piece of our inventory is our national stadium. We would like to see if we can monetise that. It would be crazy for us not to look at using our single biggest piece of inventory to drive revenue. We want to get the right price for it.
In addition, Dodson indicated that the SRU was actively seeking a site for a completely new stadium with a capacity of 10,000 to 15,000 as a future home for Edinburgh Rugby.
The pitch was damaged by nematodes in the lead up to the 2013 autumn internationals. This led to the SRU to replace the grass with a Desso surface from the start of the 2014 season.
Murrayfield was a candidate to replace Hampden as the national football arena for the early parts of Scotland's UEFA Euro 2016 Qualification Campaign due to Hampden's renovation for the Commonwealth Games. However, it was decided that one of the two stadiums in Glasgow would be used.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Murrayfield.|
- Rugby union in Scotland
- Sport in Scotland
- Scottish Rugby Union
- Scotland national rugby union team
- Scottish Women's Rugby Union
Notes and references
- "Leicester 16–19 Leinster". European Rugby Cup. 19 May 2008. Retrieved 20 May 2008.
- "Tynecastle not fit for Europe". BBC Sport. BBC. 22 December 2003. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
- "Hearts 3-1 Braga". BBC Sport. BBC. 16 September 2004. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
- "Hearts 0-1 Ferencvaros". BBC Sport. BBC. 16 December 2004. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
- "Hearts 0-1 Schalke 04". BBC Sport. BBC. 4 November 2004. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
- "Hearts 1-2 AEK Athens". BBC Sport. BBC. 9 August 2006. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
- "Hearts 0-2 Sparta Prague". BBC Sport. BBC. 14 September 2006. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
- "Tynecastle Stadium: 1981-present". www.heartsfc.co.uk. Heart of Midlothian FC. Retrieved 5 January 2013. "2005: Plans were produced for a new Main Stand that could take the capacity of the stadium up to 25,000. In the meantime, the removal of 280 seats from the front of the Gorgie and Roseburn Stands allowed the club to extend the length of the playing pitch to meet UEFA Cup requirements. The capacity of the ground is now 17,400."
- "Classy Barcelona toy with Hearts". BBC Sport. BBC. 28 July 2007. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
- Grahame, Ewing (25 July 2008). "Hibernian handed six of the best by rampant Barcelona at Murrayfield". Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 5 January 2013.
- "Bon Jovi Tour Page". Island Records. 28 October 2010. Retrieved 28 October 2010.
- "Murrayfield could be renamed for right price – Scottish Rugby". BBC Sport. 29 October 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
- "SRU chiefs seek Murrayfield stadium name change sponsor to help pay off debts". The Scotsman. 30 October 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
- Murrayfield Tours on the SRU website
- Murrayfield Hospitality on the SRU website
- Murrayfield Library on the SRU website
|Rugby World Cup Sevens
Hong Kong Stadium
Stade de France