Scottish Pro14 rugby union team Edinburgh Rugby has announced the completion of its new purpose-built stadium, which will have a capacity of around 7,800.
The ground has been built adjacent to the 67,000-seat BT Murrayfield, the home of Scottish Rugby and where Edinburgh Rugby had previously played some of its home games. The new venue is the club’s first permanent home since its inception as a professional side in 1996.
The new stadium will have around 5,800 seats and capacity for a further 2,000 through safe standing. The stadium, which has been built at a cost of £5.7m (€6.5m/$7.9m), has been officially handed over to Edinburgh Rugby today (Tuesday).
The stadium includes World Rugby certification for contact training and playing on its 3G surface. Ongoing restrictions caused by COVID-19 mean that the stadium will be used primarily for team training purposes in the short term until fans are able to attend games.
Edinburgh Rugby will now begin a multi-staged branding process to adorn the stadium in club colours. Plans are also underway for a stadium fan zone and surrounding activity to elevate the match-day experience.
Edinburgh Rugby said it would be open to applications for use from other rugby teams, sports and events, as well as from the wider community, as it looks to maximise the potential of the stadium.
Edinburgh Rugby managing director Douglas Struth said: “We are absolutely thrilled to reach the point of project completion and are delighted with the finished product. The stadium looks and feels fantastic.
“We have worked exceptionally hard over a number of years to deepen our identity and association with the city of Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Borders. Now, with a home to call our own, we have a huge opportunity to really develop and showcase what it means to represent all of those communities in professional rugby.
“Our new stadium will allow us to better connect with our fans, community, sponsors and partners; creating a deeper sense of belonging as we strive to attract more people to the club, whilst enhancing the match-day experience for our fans inside and outside the ground. I have always said that this is a game-changing project for us, and Edinburgh Rugby has always been a club of huge potential. Our new stadium will now go a long way to helping us realise that potential.”
Scottish Rugby chief executive Mark Dodson added: “The completed construction of the new stadium is a game-changing project for both Edinburgh Rugby and Scottish Rugby.
“To finally deliver Edinburgh Rugby and its supporters a purpose-built stadium, at the home of Scottish rugby, is a fantastic achievement for all involved in the project, after a nomadic existence that’s spanned both the amateur and professional era for the side.
“Not only will the stadium provide the Edinburgh Rugby fans with a genuine home and a match-day atmosphere that will reflect their continued enthusiasm and support for the club, the ground will act as a hub for all rugby in the city. It will have a lasting legacy for the local community.”
Edinburgh Rugby had initially hoped to move into the new stadium in time for the 2019-20 season but the project was hit by delays relating to the building warrant process. The club was given the green light to start work in September 2019.
Image: Edinburgh Rugby