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Edinburgh to stay at Murrayfield

Guinness PRO12 Editor

16 Mar 2011

Edinburgh Rugby will continue to play their Magners League matches at Murrayfield for at least the next five years.

The announcement follows the completion of a detailed study into potential alternative venues in and around Edinburgh.

It concluded Murrayfield was still the most suitable destination but conceded improvements could be made.

There are proposals to switch seating to the east stand and to introduce pitchside standing along the other three stands.

Public bar and catering facilities would be located on the east stand concourse with the Edinburgh season ticket holder bar continuing to operate in the Murrayfield Wanderers Clubhouse.

"Making Murrayfield the best possible home for our players and our fans is priority. The ideas we're discussing and asking supporters to contribute to are designed to make Murrayfield a more atmospheric, more inspirational place to play and watch Magners League," said Edinburgh chief executive Craig Docherty.

"We feel the proposals are genuinely innovative and would greatly assist in the process of making the place feel like a traditional rugby club.

"The biggest challenge we face at Murrayfield is the size of the stadium, but if fans are sitting in the east stand or standing beside the pitch, we feel they'd be much more likely to feel part of the event.

"Relocating our public bar and catering facilities would also help make the east stand a real hub on match-day, while also reducing the amount of legwork supporters are asked to put in to enjoy their night."

"We've had a long, hard look at numerous other grounds in and around the city in the knowledge that playing in the Magners League and Heineken Cup places a variety of minimum requirements on us in terms of the stadium facilities we offer.

"Such essentials as floodlights and undersoil heating are simply not present in many of the grounds that have been proposed and investigated in recent times and, with certain venues, Edinburgh would not have first call on the facilities nor be given access to them year-round. Other grounds present issues such as the playing surface being too small.

"Murrayfield is our home, and we intend to do everything we can to make the most of the possibilities it offers."