Murrayfield keen on major football if Hampden Park loses out
The Scottish Rugby Union has responded positively to an “invitation” from the Scottish FA to pitch Murrayfield as an alternative venue to Hampden Park for major football matches.
The SFA’s lease at Hampden expires in 2020 and the governing body is exploring options to host big occasions.
The SRU has shown an interest in staging major football games for over two years and it would appear talks with the SFA are at an advanced stage.
SRU chief operating officer Dominic McKay delivered a presentation to the media ahead of Hearts’ Premiership clash with Rangers at Murrayfield on Saturday.
He said: “We have responded to the invitation from our friends at the SFA to offer BT Murrayfield for internationals and cup finals and semi-finals if their conversations with Queen’s Park go a certain way.
“We feel we have a pretty special stadium with a great space around the stadium too. We are mindful that fans pay a lot of money to sometimes see their team lose so we feel it is important to put on a good experience beyond the game itself.
“We believe this is quite a big commercial opportunity for the SFA to drive more money into football.”
Murrayfield, which is hosting Hearts while Tynecastle’s main stand is rebuilt, can hold over 67,000 supporters, 15,000 more than Hampden Park. It has previously staged European games for Hearts, and Celtic when Parkhead was being used for the Commonwealth Games.
There are plenty of other options for the SFA including Celtic Park, Ibrox, Pittodrie, Easter Road and Tynecastle.
Hampden Park continues to be owned by Queens Park, whose president Alan Hutchison recently said the club would have to seriously re-examine its finances if the SFA was to move out.
The SRU expects to hear in December whether it has been successful in persuading the SFA to switch to Murrayfield.