EDINBURGH RUGBY has confirmed that work on creating a 7,800 seater stadium on the back pitches at Murrayfield to host the capital’s professional team has recommenced following news from the Scottish Government can begin to phase out of the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
The stadium was 12 weeks away from completion when the lockdown came into force, and although social distancing measures could slow progress during the next few months, it is conceivable that the venue will be ready to go in time for the delayed start of next season (although there would be an argument for continuing to use the international bowl initially as it provides more scope for spectators sitting apart).
An announcement from PRO14 Rugby this week is expected to shed more light on how the current season will be concluded and when the 2020-21 campaign will begin.
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A statement issued by Edinburgh on social media this morning said:
“Work has resumed today on Edinburgh Rugby’s new stadium project following confirmation from the Scottish Government that the construction sector can restart, on a phased basis.
“Contractors will now continue work on the 7,800 capacity stadium following the Scottish Government’s health & safety guidelines regarding COVID-19.
There had been speculation that the project would have to be shelved as part of the belt-tightening process Scottish Rugby is going to have to go through due to the financial impact of the virus, but Murrayfield Chief Executive Mark Dodson indicated to journalists on a conference call last Thursday that there was strong arguments for carrying on to completion
“It’s over halfway through construction now,” he reasoned. “We have to go through some health-and-safety procedures, but I think it would be our ambition to complete the stadium, for several reasons. One is we’re in the middle of a building project with contracts, secondly we think it’s a revenue-earner for Edinburgh, and thirdly the supporters of Edinburgh have waited long enough for a new stadium. So our view would be that’s something we would try to conclude.”
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As a Rugby Union it seems pretty reasonable to build a Rugby stadium to facilitate the games of a Rugby team, one that has been much needed for a while. One that was far along and would have needed ripped apart and then relayed at cost, while still not solving an issue.
I can’t imagine the decision to proceed with it took very long and will in the long term be cost effective.
The announcement suggests things are just tickety boo then. No need for any cuts across Scottish Rugby then.
The “everything is under review” must have been talking about something else?
In fairness, they’re pretty far along. The stands are already up. It’d probably cost them more to cancel contracts and dismantle the stands than to complete the build.