Reports on Wednesday suggested that Caley Jags chief executive Scot Gardiner – who spent time in a similar role at Tynecastle – had contacted the Scottish FA offering the use of the Caledonian Stadium for the December 20 showpiece.
Gardiner is believed to have talked up the fact that a small number of fans would be able to attend the fixture if held in the Highland capital. Inverness is within a Tier 1 region while Hampden is within the Tier 4 Glasgow City and even though that will drop to Tier 3 by the end of this week, Celtic and Hearts fans will still be locked out of the game.
While the chance of having fans in attendance may have been Gardiner's main selling point, there would have been additional costs involved for both clubs in terms of travel and accommodation and any fans wanting to attend would have to be living in the same region as Inverness.
The Caley Jags were permitted to let 300 fans in to their November 21 match against Raith Rovers and will do so again for this weekend's Championship clash with Dundee.
It is understood that Scottish FA chief Ian Maxwell declined the surprise offer, citing a contractual commitment to use Hampden. Broadcasters BBC Scotland and Premier Sports would also have been affected had the venue been switched.
Celtic and Hearts are scheduled to meet at the national stadium on Sunday December 20 with a 2.15pm kick-off.