Hearts and Hibs at Murrayfield: Jason Leitch explains why using rugby stadium makes ‘perfect sense’

Rugby ground could be up to a quarter-full under two-metre distancing rules

Preparing BT Murrayfield for the 2018 Betfred Cup semi-final.
Preparing BT Murrayfield for the 2018 Betfred Cup semi-final.

Using BT Murrayfield for a number of sports makes perfect sense to Scotland’s national clinical director Jason Leitch.

Leitch believes some grounds could be up to a quarter full when crowds are initially allowed back into sports events.

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The Scottish Rugby Union has held talks with Hearts and Hibernian over using Murrayfield when football returns from the coronavirus lockdown.

Although the Scottish Premiership season is likely to start behind closed doors, it is hoped partial crowds could be allowed towards the end of the year.

With Murrayfield capable of holding 67,000 fans under normal circumstances, Professor Leitch believes it has a number of advantages in the era of social distancing.

When asked how that would work in stadia, Professor Leitch told BBC Radio Scotland’s Off The Ball: “There isn’t an exact formula but what you are looking at is probably an empty two [seats] between everybody, and a couple of empty seats between people from different households. But if you go as a family of four you can sit together.

“I am thinking probably a fifth to a sixth of that stadium, maybe a quarter. Murrayfield have done this, I have seen the chart, they have done what two metres means.

“The good thing about Murrayfield is, it’s big, it’s accesses are big, and you don’t go indoors to get to your seat. Hampden is not dissimilar but Murrayfield is slightly more isolated and on bigger acreage.

“In the conversation we had with football and rugby, they were both on the same call, there was a lot of chat about whether Murrayfield could be a bubble that could host quite a lot of this - behind closed doors first of all, some training and then in the fullness of time have crowds.

“I think it’s an excellent idea. It makes perfect sense.”

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