|Public transit||Haymarket railway station Murrayfield Stadium tram stop|
|Owner||Scottish Rugby Union|
|Operator||Scottish Rugby Union|
|Record attendance||104,000 (1975 Five Nations - Scotland vs Wales)|
|Scottish Rugby Union
Edinburgh Rugby (1996–present)
Edinburgh Sevens (2007–2011)
Scottish Claymores (1995–2002)
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 is 67,800 which makes it the largest stadium in Scotland and the fifth 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, the Scottish Hydro Electric Cup final, as well as Pro12 and Heineken Cup matches.
Despite the line running adjacent to the stadium, the closest railway station to the stadium is Haymarket, which lies a mile to the East.
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|
towards York Place
|York Place - Edinburgh Airport||Balgreen
The stadium is served by Lothian Bus services 12, 22, 26, 31 and the Airlink(100) along Corstorphine Road, though post-match traffic congestion is common along this route.
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The SRU identified 19 acres of land at Murrayfield, purchasing this from Edinburgh Polo Club at Murrayfield, having raised money through debentures. A stand and three embankments were constructed, which took two years. Previous internationals had been played at Inverleith. On 21 March 1925 England were the first team to visit Murrayfield, with 70,000 people watching Scotland beat them 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.
Murrayfield's record attendance of 104,000 was set on 1 March 1975 when Scotland defeated Wales 12–10 during the 1975 Five Nations Championship. This attendance stood as a world record until 1999.
In October 1991 another debenture scheme was launched, to finance a more comprehensive redevelopment of the West Stand. In 1994, Murrayfield completed a £50-million renovation where floodlights were installed for the first time.
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 the SRU to replace the grass with a Desso surface from the start of the 2014 season. A naming rights deal with BT was agreed in May 2014, resulting in the stadium being officially named as the BT Murrayfield Stadium.
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 18–12, and again in 2009, with Leinster defeating Leicester 19–16.
Although a union stadium, Murrayfield hosted the Rugby League Challenge Cup Finals of 2000 and 2002. The stadium hosted rugby league's Super League Magic Weekend in 2009, taking over from the Millennium Stadium. The record for a rugby league attendance at the stadium is 67,247 for the 2000 Challenge Cup Final.
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. Almost 58,000 people attended to watch Hearts play FC Barcelona, recording the largest crowd at a football match in Edinburgh for 51 years. In 2014 Glasgow club Celtic played 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.
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.
On 30 June 1996, Tina Turner played at Murrayfield as part of her Wildest Dreams Tour. 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. On July the 8th 1999 Celine Dion performed her Let's Talk About Love World Tour as she sold out the full venue of 67,000, on her first ever and last ever show in Scotland .In July 2005, Murrayfield hosted the final Live 8 concert, Edinburgh 50,000 – The Final Push, with performances including 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. Bon Jovi performed at the stadium on 22 June 2011 as part of their tour. Madonna performed to a sell-out crowd of 52,160 on 21 July 2012 as part of her MDNA Tour. On 3 June 2014, One Direction performed to over 64,000 fans at Murrayfield as part of their Where We Are Stadium Tour. Foo Fighters performed at Murrayfield Stadium as part of their Sonic Highways World Tour on 8 September 2015. The band were originally supposed to play Murrayfield on 23 June 2015 but this was cancelled and rescheduled after Dave Grohl broke his foot at European Festival that same month.
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Notes and references
- "Changed days as the home of Scottish rugby takes on world of big business From cricket pitch to a cash jackpot". The Herald. 4 March 1995. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
- "Scottish Flashback: Murrayfield in the snow, 1963". The Scotsman. 28 January 2015. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
- "Edinburgh, Roseburn Street, Murrayfield Stadium". Canmore. Historic Environment Scotland. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
- "The debenture scheme delivers delight". The Herald. 5 February 1994. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
- "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.
- "Scottish Rugby confirms deal for BT Murrayfield Stadium". BBC Sport. BBC. 28 May 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
- "Leicester 16–19 Leinster". BBC Sport. 23 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.
- Bean, Graham (5 Sep 2013). "Champions League: Celtic to play at Murrayfield". The Scotsman. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
- "Bon Jovi Live 2011 Tour Page". Island Records. Archived from the original on 27 July 2011.
- BT Murrayfield Stadium on the Scottish Rugby website
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