The home of Scottish rugby, the 67,800 international stadium at Murrayfield, will be the venue for the game next May when the cream of northern hemisphere rugby battle it out for the most prestigious club rugby title in the world game.
Murrayfield will become the fourth Six Nations Test arena to host a Heineken Cup Final and Scotland will become the fifth country to stage the game. Cardiff Arms Park and the Millennium Stadium have hosted the final three times, Lansdowne Road and Twickenham have each staged it twice and Stade Lescure, Bordeaux, and Parc des Princes, Paris, have been the other venues.
The Scottish Rugby Union won the race to host the 10th anniversary final after successfully bidding to take the game to Scotland for the 1st time. ERC, who organise the Heineken Cup, were impressed with their submission.The Heineken Cup Final is developing into one of European sport's leading annual events and demands to be played on the biggest and best rugby stages, said ERC chairman Jean-Pierre Lux.
The Scottish bid for the 2005 Heineken Cup Final, led by the new Scottish Rugby Union Chief Executive Phil Anderton, was very thorough and ambitious and benefits from the combined efforts and expertise of a number of major agencies in the Scottish capital.
ERC chief executive Derek McGrath added: We've got 'EventScotland' - VisitScotland and the City of Edinburgh Council, in conjunction with Scottish Rugby - in our corner fighting to make this landmark occasion an extra special event.
Their view, which is shared by ERC, is that the Heineken Cup Final should be billed as more than just a game of rugby - it is a major sporting, cultural and social event. We are delighted at ERC that the city of Edinburgh, and the whole of Scottish rugby, is planning to turn the 10th Heineken Cup Final into a very special occasion.
"One of the main reasons ERC has decided to bring the Heineken Cup Final to Murrayfield is the partnership between ourselves, EventScotland, VisitScotland and the City of Edinburgh Council, which means that we have an opportunity not just to promote rugby and the Heineken Cup but a chance to promote the city of Edinburgh and Scotland on the European stage.
"An independent economic impact study concluded that a Six Nations match staged at Murrayfield is worth some #20 million to the Scottish economy of which #10 million is spent in the Edinburgh area.
"We will be pursuing actively a capacity 67,800 attendance for the Heineken Cup Final and given that many more supporters could travel to Edinburgh than would be the case for a Six Nations match where there are limited numbers of tickets for away supporters then we believe the economic impact for both Edinburgh and Scotland could be greater.
"We are also pledged to continue our positive dialogue with Lothian and Borders Police, the local licensing authority and the Scottish Executive which has seen us receive the go ahead to serve alcohol at non-international games at Murrayfield Stadium as we believe that responsible drinking can add to supporters' enjoyment of the Murrayfield experience."
David Williams, chief executive of EventScotland, the organisation set up to attract world class events to Scotland said: "EventScotland joined forces with Scottish Rugby and met with ERC in Dublin a few months ago to discuss the Heineken Cup Final coming to Scotland for the first time.
It's great to see the outcome of those discussions come to fruition in such a short period of time. EventScotland enjoys a strong working relationship with Scottish Rugby and I would like to congratulate them as well as the other partner agencies who have committed resources to make this happen. This is another opportunity for Scotland to demonstrate its ability to stage major international events.
"We look forward to continuing working with ERC, Scottish Rugby and partners, to ensure that the final is a great success."