Ann Budge has confirmed that Hearts will play their scheduled home match against Kilmarnock on 5 November at the BT Murrayfield stadium.
The Hearts majority shareholder posted a statement on the club’s website confirming that the Tynecastle board had ‘decided to take further advantage of our contingency arrangements’ to play the fixture at Murrayfield.
Hearts have so far faced Aberdeen and St Johnstone at the home of Scottish rugby, and host Rangers at the same venue this Saturday before Kilmarnock travel to the capital.
Budge confirmed that the building programme would ‘see the handover of Phase 1 requirements to the club within the next 10 days’ but that the time between the handover and the Kilmarnock match would likely be too short to carry out testing of all the new facilities.
Budge said in her statement: “One of our key objectives is to ensure that our first game back at Tynecastle runs smoothly, and provides supporters with the best possible match-day experience.
“We have therefore decided to take advantage of the opportunity open to us to call on our contingency arrangements for this fixture, thereby giving us more time to robustly test out all of our new facilities.”
Budge said last week that Hearts hadn’t ruled out postponing the club’s return to Tynecastle, while manager Craig Levein confirmed that a plan B was in place if work on the new main stand wasn’t completed in time for the early November fixture.
Recent high winds prevented roofing work from being carried out on the new stand, further delaying the completion of construction.
The end date had already been delayed, following an error in ordering seating for the new stand, leading to the club staging three ‘home’ fixtures at nearby Murrayfield.
But Budge confirmed last week that the initial agreement with the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) was for four matches to be played at Murrayfield, affording Hearts some leeway if needed.
Budge ended her statement by reassuring fans ‘we will be home soon’, adding: “To be in a top six position, having played all 10 league games away from Tynecastle, is a terrific achievement, helped in no small measure by the superb traveling support and indeed by the wonderful turnout at BT Murrayfield. Please keep it up.”
Budge confirmed a further progress update would be issued to supporters later this week.
Hearts’ next scheduled home match after the visit of Kilmarnock is against Partick Thistle on Sunday 19 November.