Murrayfield Stadium

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Murrayfield Stadium
BT Murrayfield Stadium
Murrayfield Stadium logo.svg
Murrayfield
Location Murrayfield
Edinburgh
EH12 5PJ
Coordinates 55°56′32″N 3°14′27″W / 55.94222°N 3.24083°W / 55.94222; -3.24083Coordinates: 55°56′32″N 3°14′27″W / 55.94222°N 3.24083°W / 55.94222; -3.24083
Public transit Haymarket railway station Murrayfield Stadium tram stop
Owner Scottish Rugby Union
Operator Scottish Rugby Union
Capacity 67,144
Record attendance 104,000 (1975 Five Nations - Scotland vs Wales)
Surface Underheated Grass
Construction
Opened 1925
Renovated 1995
Architect Connor Milligan
Tenants
Scottish Rugby Union
Edinburgh Rugby (1996-)
Edinburgh Sevens (2007-2011)
Heart of Midlothian (2004-2007)

Murrayfield Stadium (known as BT Murrayfield Stadium for sponsorship reasons, or 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 the 4th largest in the United Kingdom.

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.

Location[edit]

Murrayfield, the home of Scottish rugby union.

Murrayfield is located near to Murrayfield Ice Rink, Murrayfield Curling Rink, and close to Edinburgh Zoo. It is named after the area of Edinburgh it is located in, Murrayfield.

Transport[edit]

Rail[edit]

Despite the line running adjacent to the stadium, the closest railway station to the stadium is Haymarket, which lies a mile to the East.

Interchange with the Edinburgh Trams is available at Haymarket and Edinburgh Park. Edinburgh Waverley station is a short walk from the St Andrew Square tram stop.

Tram[edit]

Murrayfield Stadium tram stop is located close to the turnstiles on Roseburn Street. Access to the platform is by a flight stairs. As part of crowd-management measures, ticketing machines are situated at the bottom of the staircase and not the platform.

Preceding station   Edinburgh Trams   Following station
Haymarket
towards York Place
  York Place - Edinburgh Airport   Balgreen
towards Airport

Buses[edit]

The stadium is particularly well-served by Lothian Bus services 12, 26, 31 and the Airlink(100) along Corstorphine Road, though post-match traffic congestion is common along this route.

History[edit]

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's record attendance of 104,000 at was set on 1 March 1975 when Scotland defeated Wales 12-10 during the 1975 Five Nations Championship. This would stand as the world record rugby union attendance until 107,042 attended a Bledisloe Cup game between Australia and New Zealand at the 2000 Olympic Stadium in Sydney, Australia on 28 August 1999 (this record was broken at the same venue one year later when 109,874 saw The Wallabies and All Blacks battle it out). Murrayfield's attendance record still stands (as of 2014) as the highest attendance for a rugby game in Europe, and the all-time third highest world attendance. As the largest European stadium in current use for rugby union is the 90,000 seat Wembley Stadium in England, and the largest in use around the world is the 94,736 seat FNB Stadium in South Africa, Murrayfield's European attendance record and third highest all-time record are unlikely to be broken.

In October 2012, SRU chief executive Mark Dodson told the BBC that it was actively seeking a name sponsor for Murrayfield:[1]

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.[2] The pitch was damaged by nematodes in the lead up to the 2013 autumn internationals. This led the SRU to replace the grass with a Desso surface from the start of the 2014 season.[3] A naming rights deal with BT was agreed in May 2014, resulting in the stadium being officially named as the BT Murrayfield Stadium.[4]

Uses[edit]

Rugby[edit]

Murrayfield Stadium in 2002.
MurrayfieldRugbyWorldCup.JPG

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.[5]

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.

Football[edit]

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.[6] Competitive matches against Sporting Braga,[7] Ferencvaros,[8] Schalke,[9] AEK Athens,[10] Siroki Brijeg and Sparta Prague[11] have been played at Murrayfield. This practice has since stopped, however, as Hearts made adjustments to ensure that Tynecastle complies with UEFA regulations.[12] Additionally, both Hearts and Hibernian have played preseason friendlies against FC Barcelona at Murrayfield.[13][14] Almost 58,000 people attended to watch Hearts play FC Barcelona, recording the largest crowd at a football match in Edinburgh for 51 years.[15] In 2014 Glasgow club Celtic are due to play two qualifying matches at the stadium due to Celtic Park being unavailable because of Glasgow's hosting of the Commonwealth Games.

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.[citation needed]

American football[edit]

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 '96 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.

Music[edit]

In September 1997 U2 played at Murrayfield as part of their Popmart Tour. In June 1999, The Rolling Stones played at Murrayfield on their Bridges to Babylon Tour. In July 2005, Murrayfield hosted the final Live 8 concert, Edinburgh 50,000 - The Final Push, with performances from the likes of James Brown, Texas and The Proclaimers. 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.[citation needed] Bon Jovi performed at the stadium on 22 June 2011 as part of their tour.[16] Madonna performed to a sell-out crowd of 52,160 on 21 July 2012 as part of her MDNA Tour. On June 3, 2014, One Direction performed to over 64,000 fans at Murrayfield as part of their Where We Are Stadium Tour.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Murrayfield could be renamed for right price – Scottish Rugby". BBC Sport. 29 October 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  2. ^ "SRU chiefs seek Murrayfield stadium name change sponsor to help pay off debts". The Scotsman. 30 October 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  3. ^ http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/sports/393290/scots-to-install-hybrid-pitch-at-murrayfield
  4. ^ "Scottish Rugby confirms deal for BT Murrayfield Stadium". BBC Sport (BBC). 28 May 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  5. ^ "Leicester 16–19 Leinster". European Rugby Cup. 19 May 2008. Retrieved 20 May 2008. 
  6. ^ "Tynecastle not fit for Europe". BBC Sport. BBC. 22 December 2003. Retrieved 5 January 2013. 
  7. ^ "Hearts 3-1 Braga". BBC Sport. BBC. 16 September 2004. Retrieved 5 January 2013. 
  8. ^ "Hearts 0-1 Ferencvaros". BBC Sport. BBC. 16 December 2004. Retrieved 5 January 2013. 
  9. ^ "Hearts 0-1 Schalke 04". BBC Sport. BBC. 4 November 2004. Retrieved 5 January 2013. 
  10. ^ "Hearts 1-2 AEK Athens". BBC Sport. BBC. 9 August 2006. Retrieved 5 January 2013. 
  11. ^ "Hearts 0-2 Sparta Prague". BBC Sport. BBC. 14 September 2006. Retrieved 5 January 2013. 
  12. ^ "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." 
  13. ^ "Classy Barcelona toy with Hearts". BBC Sport. BBC. 28 July 2007. Retrieved 5 January 2013. 
  14. ^ 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. 
  15. ^ Bean, Graham (5 Sep 2013). "Champions League: Celtic to play at Murrayfield". The Scotsman. Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  16. ^ "Bon Jovi Live 2011 Tour Page". Island Records. Archived from the original on 27 June 2011. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
None
Rugby World Cup Sevens
Host Venue

1993
Succeeded by
Hong Kong Stadium
Hong Kong Hong Kong
Preceded by
Twickenham
London
Heineken Cup
Final Venue

2004–05
Succeeded by
Millennium Stadium
Cardiff
Preceded by
Millennium Stadium
Cardiff
Heineken Cup
Final Venue

2008–09
Succeeded by
Stade de France
Paris