Watch our video tour of Murrayfield for www.insider.co.uk
Moving football to Murrayfield would generate 'significant revenues' for SFA
By Victoria Masterson
09:23, 4 MAY 2018
WATCH OUR VIDEO TOUR HERE: https://www.insider.co.uk/news/bt-murrayfield-hampden-rugby-football-12478497
BT Murrayfield is stepping up its bid to become Scotland’s home of football from 2020.
Insider got a behind-the-scenes tour of Scotland’s biggest stadium, which is pitching to host the national team after the Scottish Football Association’sexisting 20-year lease on Hampden expires in 2020.
The SFA is due to decide this summer on whether to stay at Hampden or move to Murrayfield, after ruling out offers from Celtic Park and Ibrox.
“With 67,000 full seats and the hospitality that we’re offering, the Scottish Football Association will see significant revenues to invest back in grass roots,” said Dominic McKay, Scottish Rugby ’s chief operating officer.READ MORE
“It’s also an opportunity for supporters of Scottish football to come to a great environment and have a great experience. We’ve hosted Barcelona , Celtic and Hearts when Tynecastle was being redeveloped, so football is part of our DNA as well as rugby. But really we’re an entertainment business, and we want to sweat our asset – which is Scotland’s biggest stadium – as much as we can.”
Toni Blackhurst, Scottish Rugby’s head of marketing and sponsorship, said the range of food, entertainment, big screens and family activity across BT Murrayfield’s 30 acre site had helped extend the typical stay from 80 minutes to up to eight hours. The stadium is also attracting a more diverse audience, including women between 18 to 24, families and children.
McKay believes there is an untapped opportunity for Scottish Rugby and the SFA to work together to market Scotland to a wider global audience, including ex-pats.READ MORE
“Many of the Scottish rugby supporters are Scottish football supporters and vice versa,” he added. “If we can combine and collaborate on how we market the game, we’ll be supporting both the national football and rugby teams.”
Former internationalist Sean Lamont , who been capped for Scotland 105 times, said: “I’m obviously very biased having played here a few times, but it’s a great stadium. The atmosphere in here is amazing when it’s full. There’s great access to the stadium with the tram and buses, and it’s a 15 or 20-minute walk into town. The footfall you get is amazing and when you get a crowd in here, it really does get absolutely pumping.”
As part of Scottish Rugby's open day, 100 football fans were given an exclusive tour of BT Murrayfield. More than 50 young footballers from Spartans FC’s Academy teams also used the home of Scottish Rugby for a training session earlier in the day.
BT Murrayfield hosted Hearts' European matches between 2004 and 2006 and this season, while work was taking place at Tynecastle Park, the stadium was used for SPFL matches against Aberdeen, St Johnstone, Rangers and Kilmarnock.
Hearts was also the opposition when Barcelona came to Scotland in 2007, with Hibs taking on the Catalan giants the following year. These glamour friendlies saw players such as Ronaldinho, Thierry Henry and Lionel Messi play at BT Murrayfield.
With Celtic Park one of the principal venues for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Celtic also staged Champions League qualifiers at Murrayfield.