Murrayfield to host Heineken Cup final

Heineken Cup organisers believe Murrayfield will be the perfect venue for next year’s final after confirming Scotland’s national stadium will stage the match.

ERC chief executive Derek McGrath insists the match can be a sell-out, with Edinburgh benefiting from thousands of fans visiting the city.

Murrayfield also staged the 2005 final when Toulouse defeated Stade Francais to win the trophy for the third time in front of a below-capacity 51,000 crowd.

McGrath said: “Scottish sports fans can look forward to a festival of rugby next May, and the city and the region will benefit from a significant financial windfall from hosting the event.

“Our research shows that in 2005 the final introduced a £15million windfall into the Scottish economy, Wales benefited to the tune of £25million in 2006 and London made £18million in 2007.”

McGrath is optimistic of a 67,779 full house, especially if either Edinburgh or Glasgow Warriors reach the final.

“We really hope that Scotland will embrace this opportunity and make next year’s event a really special occasion, and why not with Scottish participation,” he said.

“From an event point of view we had two French teams in Dublin in 2003 and we had a crowd of around 34,000.

“We came to Edinburgh two years later with two French teams again and we got 51,000, so that was a new benchmark for us.

“It will be interesting to see what benchmark we could set next year if we had two French teams again.

“We know that from now until next April we will be selling an event for which we don’t know who will be involved, but this year we had sold out all our tickets by February.

“So a lot of people are interested in coming to this event even if they don’t know who will be involved, and that’s what we are offering to the Scottish public.

“It is a very special event - it is rugby but not rugby like they have seen before. And, of course, Edinburgh is a very attractive destination, so it is an easy sell in that regard.”

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