Mark Donaldson had a behind the scenes tour of the new main stand at Tynecastle. Here’s his first hand experience and images from inside the stand.
I flew over to Edinburgh from the States last weekend specifically to attend the Kilmarnock game and what I thought would be the first match in front of the new main stand.
Well it was meant to be when I booked my flight! ‘Twas not to be, however, but the alternative outcome wasn’t too shabby.
Last Tuesday afternoon (07 Nov) Ann Budge very kindly allowed me to join her on her daily walkabout to check the progress of construction.
These pictures were taken on my iPhone during that tour of the new facilities.
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Regardless if it’s this weekend or next weekend that Hearts return to Tynecastle, the amount of work that’s been done in less than six months is phenomenal.
It’s hard to illustrate the sheer size of the new main stand with pictures alone, a tour of the facility when everything is completed will be a must.
The panoramic photo was taken from behind Row 38 at the very back of the stand.
Phase One (current phase) is just about complete - having the structure and facilities up to the required standard so a safety certificate can be issued and it’s available for occupancy.
Phase Two (next phase, scheduled for completion by next summer) includes finishing off hospitality facilities to allow for migration of guests over from the Gorgie Suite.
The top two floors - featuring that hospitality area plus an outside terrace and a restaurant, among other things - will be spectacular.
Hearts supporters will eventually have access to walk between all three stands on a matchday, but this is unlikely be the case for the first couple of home games played at Tynecastle.
The club is well aware that fans in the Gorgie and Wheatfield stands will want to take a look at facilities in the new main stand as soon as possible, but the concern initially is overcrowding of walkways etc and too many people using kiosks resulting in food shortages.
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The new stand is *nearly* as steep as the other three, but new council building regulations came into effect a few years ago preventing any new construction containing the same gradient of steepness as the Gorgie, Wheatfield and Roseburn stands. It’s only a degree or so less steep than the other three, and certainly not noticeable.
A lot of unforeseen challenges have arisen along the way, which have severely impacted the ability to keep to timescale, and a significant sum of additional money has been spent that wasn’t budgeted for due to issues totally outwith the club’s control.
The new club store, which is located bottom left of the stand as you look from McLeod Street, is massive!
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Any pictures where it appears that there’s still a lot of work to be done (upper floors of the main stand and escalators etc) are from Phase Two, with completion due by the middle of next year.
And because of this, a soon-to-be fenced off construction work area between the Main Stand and the Roseburn Stand is being maintained to allow for ongoing work in Phase Two.
I hope this is a worthwhile insight into the sheer amount of work that is currently being undertaken and the ridiculous amount of planning and logistics that goes into a project as big as this.
Finally please be patient. It’s worth the wait, I promise