Stadium update with Douglas Struth
Construction on the club’s new stadium is well underway after ground was broken in late October. Hear from Edinburgh Rugby Managing Director Douglas Struth as he provides an update on the stadium project.
Doug – how pleasing has it been for you to see this project really take shape now?
“It has been really pleasing. There’s nothing like seeing progress. Construction has really started now, and with diggers on site, you can really start to see it beginning to take shape.
“We’ve had a pretty nomadic existence over the years. We’ve played at numerous club grounds, we’ve been at Meadowbank and Easter Road in the past as well, but more often than not, back here at BT Murrayfield.
“So, with the support of Scottish Rugby, to have a fit for purpose stadium constructed – but still at our spiritual home of BT Murrayfield – is a great thing for us as a club.
In terms of construction, what has already been completed, and what is currently being worked on?
“We obviously broke ground in October 2019. Then the first works were removing what was here before. Many fans will remember the old artificial pitch that was here, as well as the grass training pitch behind that.
“So, after removing those pitches, it was about laying down the pitch works for the new 3g pitch that will be used in the new stadium. There has also been a fair bit of draining and irrigation works, both in terms of the new pitch and the toilet blocks that will also be fitted in the new stadium.
“There has also been some trench works for things like power and data cables, that the stadium will clearly rely on to function. The other main bit of work that has been going is the diversion of a main sewer that runs directly below BT Murrayfield, which is not an insubstantial task.
“In terms of the work we’re seeing right now on the site, it’s the foundations for the stands and the foundations for the new LED floodlight columns will be fitted.
“The good news is, that after some initial heavy rainfall, and a high Water of Leith water-table, we’re still on track for construction to be completed for the start of next season.
Will construction still be taking place during that February/ March period as the Guinness Six Nations comes to BT Murrayfield?
“With the support of Scottish Rugby, we are able to continue construction through that busy Six Nations period, which is brilliant for our project timeline. It allows us to stick to schedule.
“It’s also great that with 67,000 supporters on the BT Murrayfield estate for those matches against England and France, we are able to show off a bit with in terms of what we’re doing."
When should supporters expect to see the new stands go up, as well the 3G pitch laid?
“In any stadium construction, one of the key milestones and landmark moments is seeing the stands going up. For us, supporters should expect to see those stands going up in mid to late March after that Guinness Six Nations period is over.
“Those stands will be built one at a time around the stadium, so we can really start to see things happening then. The other big landmark will be the new 3G pitch being installed.
“That’s the state of the art technology that the guys will be playing on from next season, and again that will be around April time.
“So, in March and April, we’ll really be able to see some big things happening around the site.”