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Murrayfield Stadium
Murrayfield
Location Murrayfield
Edinburgh
EH12 5PJ
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Opened 1925
Renovated 1995
Owner Scottish Rugby Union
Operator Scottish Rugby Union
Surface Underheated Grass
Architect Connor Milligan
Tenants Scottish Rugby Union
Edinburgh Rugby
Edinburgh Sevens
Heart of Midlothian
Capacity 67,144

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.

LocationEdit

File:Rugby Scotland.jpg

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.

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.

HistoryEdit

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. It once held the record for the largest ever attendance for a rugby union match, and remains so for the United Kingdom, with 104,000 watching Scotland play Wales in 1975 for a Five Nations match.

PresentEdit

File:MurrayfieldStadium2002.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.[1]

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.[2] Competitive matches against Sporting Braga,[3] Ferencvaros,[4] Schalke,[5] AEK Athens,[6] Siroki Brijeg and Sparta Prague[7] have been played at Murrayfield. This practice has since stopped, however, as Hearts made adjustments to ensure that Tynecastle complies with UEFA regulations.[8] Additionally, both Hearts and Hibernian have played preseason friendlies against FC Barcelona at Murrayfield.[9][10]

File:MurrayfieldRugbyWorldCup.JPG

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.

June 13th 2004, the Red Hot Chili Peppers rocked Murrayfield as part of their Roll on the Red tour. Over 70,000 people turned up to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers who were supported by N*E*R*D and Ash.

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 & The Proclaimers.

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 gig 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. In June, 1999, The Rolling Stones played at Murrayfield on their Bridges to Babylon Tour.

It has a 100 m running track by the main stand.

The Bill McLaren Press Gallery is located at Murrayfield Stadium and the Bill McLaren Foundation was launched there on 4 March 2010.

The seats incorporate the letters "SRU" as well as a tartan pattern. This tartan is the official tartan of the SRU.

Bon Jovi performed at the stadium 22 June 2011 as part of their tour.[11]

Pop icon Madonna performed to a sell-out crowd of 52,160 on 21 July 2012 as part of her MDNA Tour.

In October 2012, SRU chief executive Mark Dodson told the BBC that it was actively seeking a name sponsor for Murrayfield:[12]

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.[13]

See alsoEdit

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Notes and referencesEdit

External linksEdit

Preceded by
None
Rugby World Cup Sevens
Host Venue

1993
Succeeded by
Hong Kong Stadium
Template:Country data HKG 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

Template:Rugby union in Scotland Template:1991 Rugby World Cup Venues Template:1999 Rugby World Cup Venues Template:2007 Rugby World Cup Venues Template:Six Nations Stadia Template:Celtic League rugby venues Template:Super League venues

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