Hearts have moved to quell fears that they would not be able to operate at full capacity for their Scottish Cup tie with Hibernian in two weeks’ time. There had been concern that ongoing preparatory works ahead of building a new structure would prevent them from opening the main stand, denying existing season ticket holders their usual seats when tickets for the capital derby go on sale.
But following a series of meetings on Friday, they have said that they will now be in a position to work around the fixture, without leaving the works behind schedule.
The demolition of surrounding out-buildings and office space had been completed and the erection of the frame for the new stand is already under way. It had been hoped that all major developments could be completed around away fixtures and free weeks but the home draw against city rivals Hibs has caused what insiders have described as a logistical nightmare.
The stand had been closed to spectators when the ground was used to host the Bonnyrigg Rose v Hibs match in the previous round and while the club were able to rejig the building schedule to allow the club to reopen it for Hearts’ cup replay against Raith Rovers on Wednesday, in a statement to fans, chairwoman Ann Budge had warned that was “something that may not be possible if we reach the next round”.
The draw against Hibernian and the subsequent anticipated demand for tickets against the cup holders meant that a rethink was required.
Having discussed it with the building contractors, Hearts are now confident that they can press on with work and still meet health and safety requirements ahead of the match.