Scottish Rugby extends Elior deal, Murrayfield suites upgraded

Scottish Rugby has agreed a five-year extension to its partnership with hospitality provider Elior and completed a major refurbishment of a number of the conference and matchday suites at BT Murrayfield stadium.

An extensive tender process in 2015-16 led to the award of a 10-year contract which enabled Elior to deliver all match day and non-match day hospitality, conference/banqueting and catering services at Murrayfield.

The five-year extension takes the existing agreement through to 2031 and includes a seven figure contribution from Elior to the refurbishment of the Edinburgh stadium’s conference and matchday suites.

To align with the vision and values of Scottish Rugby, Elior now operates at Murrayfield under the Scottish Rugby Hospitality brand in a move intended to better represent the service provided together with the governing body’s team.

Scottish Rugby chief operating officer, Dominic McKay, said: “This long-term relationship has allowed us to redevelop the suites and ensure that we can carry on offering a consistent high-quality service to our customers and will take the matchday and visitors experience at BT Murrayfield to a whole new level.

“BT Murrayfield is approaching its centenary anniversary and I am delighted that thanks to our on-going work with our commercial partners such as Elior, we can keep investing and developing our venue to both provide an unforgettable experience for fans, sponsors and guests, alongside its significant contribution to our overall revenues, which are reinvested into rugby in Scotland.”

Under the refurbishment, the 1925 Suites have had a significant refit to ensure a more dynamic area for hosting guests, while improving the flexibility in hosting groups of different sizes and in wider variety of possible presentation formats. The suites, which will now be known as the Scotland Suites, have been renamed to honour Scottish Rugby’s history.

The Moncreiff Suite honours Francis Moncreiff who was selected to represent Scotland, and captained the side, in the first ever international rugby union game against England in 1871 at Raeburn Place, home of Edinburgh Academicals.

The MacPherson Suite is named after George Philip Stewart MacPherson CBE, the captain of the 1925 team that played for the first time at Murrayfield, defeating England 14-11 and securing the Grand Slam in the process. The Cap & Thistle, which will be used by the Scottish Rugby Business Club on match days, seeks to highlight two items entwined in Scottish Rugby history.

Refurbishment of the suites has also allowed for the two main function rooms, the Presidents and the Thistle Suite to have new bars installed to enhance the match day and non-match day experience for guests. Finally, the Centenary Club has been named as such to acknowledge the 100th anniversary of Murrayfield, which is due in 2025.

Elior UK’s managing director, Kenny Finlayson, said: “Our relationship goes well beyond that of the traditional client and supplier – the entire Elior team feels part of the Scottish Rugby family. We’ve worked in partnership to deliver a first class offer based on customer experience.”

The majority of the profit generated from all activities in the Elior partnership is invested back into the game of rugby through a contracted profit share arrangement.

Image: BT Murrayfield