Scottish Rugby chief: Here's why footy must come to Murrayfield

Scottish Rugby has been delighted to open the doors of BT Murrayfield to football fans.

Friday, 4th May 2018, 8:20 am
Updated Friday, 4th May 2018, 8:25 am

We have hosted over 100 fans who have taken the official BT Murrayfield Tour and seen our great facilities and heard about our rich history.

A number of the leading football writers in Scotland, along with former Rangers and Scotland captain Barry Ferguson, also took the tour and then faced a Scottish Rugby Select XI on the international pitch.

This was followed by a full training session for Spartans FC of Edinburgh who were also invited to onto the BT Murrayfield pitch as our guests.

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The SRU's Chief Operating Officer Dominic McKay. Picture: SNS Group

Since taking up the Scottish FA’s invitation to bid we have highlighted what we believe are the many benefits, to both Scottish football and Scottish Rugby to bring leading matches to BT Murrayfield. 

Scotland’s largest stadium has been a 67,144 sell-out for the last eight Scotland rugby internationals and many fans come ahead of kick-off and make a day of it. The fan village on the back pitches can house big screens, numerous food and drinks stands, give fans the chance to listen to live music and generally soak up the relaxed and sociable atmosphere. For many, that’s as much a part of the day out as the game itself. 

We’ve had football at BT Murrayfield before. Frank Rijkaard brought his Barcelona team to Scotland in 2007 and 57,000 fans came to Murrayfield to watch them beat Hearts in a friendly.

A year later Pep Guardiola was in his first game in charge at BT Murrayfield against Hibernian. Celtic and Hearts have played European ties here, with Hearts, most recently, playing SPFL matches at BT Murrayfield while work continued at Tynecastle.

Many football fans who have come here this season have spoken positively about their experiences. Supporter polls have also overwhelmingly indicated a preference for BT Murrayfield

to become Scotland’s joint home for both football and rugby.

Transport links to and from the stadium are excellent, with trams taking supporters right to the front gates. We successfully managed the direct and safe transportation of over 14,000 Rangers

fans to BT Murrayfield for their recent league game against Hearts. If we were to fortunate enough to be given the chance to host Scotland internationals and Scottish Cup semi-finals and finals, we would combine our own expertise with those experienced in regularly arranging football fixtures of that nature.

We know it will be a team effort.

With a decision due in the summer we are continuing to make our case to the Scottish FA and hopefully, after 2020, we can look forward to hosting the Scotland team in their World Cup qualifying campaign.

Working closely together from a world class stadium, football and rugby can make the whole country proud and create amazing sporting occasions that can inspire the nation.