SRU confident Murrayfield can replace Hampden for football matches

The Scottish Rugby Union believes it has a 'great chance' of wresting the right to host major football internationals and cup finals away from Hampden Park.

Optimistic: SRU chief Dominic McKay. Picture: SNS Group

Bosses from the Scottish Football Association are set to make a final decision on whether to move their showpiece dates away from their traditional home and move them to them to BT Murrayfield a week on Wednesday.

The SFA’s lease with Queen’s Park is set to expire in 2020 and football’s governing body now has to decide whether remaining at their base since 1906 offers better value than switching to the home of rugby in Edinburgh.

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According to reports, Queen’s Park are willing to sell their property to the SFA for £6million, but rugby chiefs are set to make a final pitch this week in the hope of persuading them that Murrayfield is the best option.

Dominc McKay, the SRU’s chief operating officer, said: “I think we’ve got a great chance.

“We’ve had brilliant discussions with our colleagues at the SFA at every level, whether that is financial, commercial, marketing or security. 
“In every element we’ve spent a lot of time with them and will be hosting them again shortly. So we’re in a great place.

“Put it simply we believe we have the best stadium in Scotland. Don’t take my word for it, take the hundreds of thousands of people who came through our turnstiles last year and the year before.

“People who come to Murrayfield have a great experience, whether that be Hearts who played four games last year there or the opposition who got a couple of wins.

“I think our changing-room facilities, our media facilities and our facilities for the athletes are better than anything else in Scotland.

“So we have a great bid, we’ve certainly put our best foot forward and we look forward to hearing how we get on.”

Former SFA chief executive Stewart Regan warned last year that it would cost “many, many millions of pounds to remain at Hampden”.

But McKay says his organisation has already proved it can generate money with its rugby activities at Murrayfield and is willing to share the secret with its football counterparts.

“If we look at our own story, as the result of selling out games in recent years we have significantly managed to increase our turnover,” said the SRU boss, as he helped launch the start of the new Guinness PRO14 season, which will culminate in the final which will be held at Celtic Park.

“In 2011, our turnover was around £32 million, which is comparable to the SFA right now.

“By selling out our games and doing some smart commercial and broadcast deals, we’re now sitting at just under £60 million in terms of turnover.

“So by utilising our asset, it gave us the opportunity to drive real revenue to our sport and the same is absolutely true for football.”