Introduction Whether you have arrived the night before or on a match day, it is impossible to ignore the heady atmosphere in Edinburgh when Scotland are due to meet an adversary-especially England-at Murrayfield. Once in the stadium and whether you are Scottish or not, it is impossible not to feel that tingle down your spine when nearly the whole stadium bursts passionately into "Flower of Scotland".
Before the game, the bagpipes sound constantly throughout the city to crank up the excitement while cheers and friendly jeers can be heard throughout the bars and pubs in the hours leading up to the game.
Whether you like walking or not, the best way to get to the ground is to follow the tartan trail as it marches down Princes Street in a sea of kilts, pipes and song.
Edinburgh is one of the Six Nations' truly splendid cities and as the bars are open until your stamina gives way, it is a must for any rugby fan.
Ground Opened: 1925
Stadium Name Murrayfield Stadium
Telephone 0131 346 5000
Website(Edinburgh Rugby) www.edinburghrugby.org
A Brief History
Murrayfield, named after the area of Edinburgh where it is located, is now only slightly smaller in capacity than it was when it was built as a ground with seating only in the West Stand. Murrayfield once rang to the sound of 104,000 people, its record crowd for a match when Scotland beat Wales 12-10 in March 1975. It was a world record at the time, but hundreds of ticket holders were unable to get in, and the decision was taken to make all future internationals all-ticket matches , and with a much-reduced capacity of 70,000.
Over a three-year period in the Nineties the stadium was redeveloped into an all-seater stadium by redeveloping three sides of the ground in addition to the East Stand built in the decade before, plus floodlights for the first time. It has since been reduced from 67,500 to 67,130 to incorporate the largest permanent big screen in Scotland, but remains the country’s largest stadium ahead of Glasgow’s three great football arenas.
In March, 1925, it hosted its first rugby international, and what a game…Scotland beat England 14-11 to seal a first Grand Slam. During the Second World War the ground was used as a supply depot, but subsequently it has seen the epic climaxes to Scotland’s only other Championship clean sweeps, in 1984 and 1990.
Murrayfield has seen 13 Rugby World Cup matches across tournaments in 1991, 1999 and 2007. Arguably, it’s most important match was the 1991 RWC semi-final. The stadium has hosted two Heineken Cup Finals, in 2005 and 2009, and has been Hearts’ temporary home for European matches and a friendly against Barcelona which attracted 58,000- the biggest crowd seen at a football match at Murrayfield.
The Rugby League Challenge Cup Final was staged in 2000 and 2002, with American Football regularly played on the hallowed turf in the days of the NFL’s European League. Legendary commentator Bill McLaren was honoured by the Murrayfield Press Gallery being named after him, while one of the oddities of the ground is the 100 metres running track alongside the West Stand. No proper athletics meeting can be staged though, as there is no continuation around the pitch
Last Updated April 2014
Copyright Miles & Miles Publishing 2014