Six days after a record crowd of 23,642 watched the opening match of the 1872 Cup double header at BT Murrayfield, the second leg will be played in front of a significantly reduced four-figure crowd at the same venue.
Scotstoun was deemed “unplayable” yesterday following the recent heavy rain and the decision was taken to move the Glasgow v Edinburgh game to the national stadium, which has a 4G surface. In order to protect it as a Warriors “home” game it has been decided that there will be no general public sale, with only a limited number of tickets potentially released today and made available to Glasgow fans first.
Tomorrow evening’s match, kick-off 5.15pm, is to be broadcast on Sky Sports and Glasgow already face a fixture pile-up heading into the new year, but the decision to play the game in Edinburgh is a controversial one and many Warriors fans took to social media to vent their anger.
The club announced yesterday afternoon that all tickets for the fixture at Scotstoun, which has been a near 7,000 sell-out for months, will be valid for the game at BT Murrayfield and that “at this time no additional tickets are available but a limited number of tickets may become so today [1 January] and Glasgow Warriors supporters will get the first chance to purchase these”.
Refunds will be available for those who can’t or won’t make the trip to Edinburgh.
Supporters will be seated in the east stand with pitchside standing available and disabled seating in the west stand.
It’s not ideal going back to Edinburgh but we need to get the game playedNathan Bombrys
A “limited number” of spaces on a complimentary bus service from Drygate Brewery were made available through the Glasgow Warriors website, where further ticketing information is available.
The club said that “all efforts” had been made to clear water from the Scotstoun pitch but, citing more rain forecast for the weekend, admitted defeat.
Broadwood Stadium in Cumbernauld has a capacity in excess of 7,000 and has previously hosted Glasgow A team fixtures but Clyde FC host Queen’s Park there tomorrow and the Warriors insist that the national stadium was the only suitable alternative.
The development robs the now traditional festive double-header of its home and away appeal and won’t be welcomed by anyone. However, it is undeniably a boost to the chances of holders Edinburgh, who will now technically play at home again, albeit with a minority of the crowd, six days after beating the Guinness Pro12 champions 23-11 at the same venue. The capital side have not won in Glasgow for 12 years.
Glasgow Warriors managing director Nathan Bombrys said: “We’re disappointed that the game cannot go ahead at Scotstoun as originally planned and all efforts were made to get the game on. However we wanted to make an early decision to help our supporters make appropriate plans and ensure the game went ahead this weekend.
“We investigated a number of options, however BT Murrayfield was the only stadium which allowed us to play the game on the same day and time, with a large enough capacity.
“It’s not an ideal situation going back to Edinburgh, but we need to get the game played and we’ll do everything we can to make this a Glasgow home game.
“We’re working on a travel plan and we will communicate directly with all our supporters who have bought a ticket for this match.
“We would encourage supporters to make the trip to Edinburgh and get behind the team, for what is an extremely important fixture.”
Glasgow’s hand was no doubt forced by the fact that they already face a testing fixture backlog. Their opening European Champions Cup fixture against Racing 92 was postponed in the wake of the Paris terror attacks and is now due to take place in the French capital on 9 January, with the Pro12 clash at Zebre due to be played that day requiring a new date.
At the start of December the home league match against Leinster fell victim to Storm Desmond and has now had to be slotted in on Friday 18 March on the eve of the Ireland v Scotland match in the Six Nations.