ERC, the Heineken Cup organisers, have confirmed that Scottish Rugby has won the right to host the 14th Heineken Cup final on the weekend of May 23-24, 2009 – the second time European club rugby’s showpiece match will be staged in Edinburgh.
The 67,778-capacity Murrayfield Stadium, which previously staged the 2005 final when Toulouse clinched their third tournament triumph, will again host the world’s biggest club rugby final and provide the setting for the climax of the European club season.
This weekend will see thousands of fans from Ireland, France and across Europe converge on Cardiff and pack-out the 74,500 Millennium Stadium when Munster face Toulouse in the 2007/08 Heineken Cup final.
Cardiff 2008 will see the third successive capacity attendance at a Heineken Cup final and follows last season’s world record club rugby attendance of over 81,076 fans at the final at Twickenham.
A crowd of over 51,000 were at Murrayfield for the all-French final three years ago when Stade Francais took Toulouse to extra-time before Guy Noves’ team edged it 18-12 for their unprecedented treble.
“We are delighted to be bringing the Heineken Cup final back to Scotland and congratulations to Scottish Rugby on securing the 2008/09 Heineken Cup final for Edinburgh,” said ERC chief executive Derek McGrath.
“The 2005 final at Murrayfield was a compelling match and the annual climax of the Heineken Cup tournament is now a must-see event – witness next Saturday’s final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff between Munster and Toulouse.
“Scottish sports fans can look forward to a festival of European rugby in Edinburgh in May 2009 and the city and region should also benefit from a significant financial windfall from staging the final.
“In 2005 the final produced a £15m injection into the Edinburgh and Scottish economy, while Wales benefited to the tune of £25 million in 2006 and London by £18 million in 2007.
“We look forward to once again working closely with Scottish Rugby to build another great Heineken Cup final weekend for Edinburgh and Scotland,” he added.
Scottish Rugby chief executive Gordon McKie welcomed the news, stating: “We are honoured and delighted to have secured one of the world’s flagship sporting events and it once again demonstrates Scottish Rugby’s commitment to hosting world class premium events at Murrayfield Stadium.
“We very much look forward to working in partnership with our key stakeholders to ensure that the Heineken Cup final 2009 is a fantastic success both for Edinburgh and Scotland.”
Paul Bush, chief operating officer of EventScotland, added: “Today’s announcement from the ERC that Scottish Rugby will host the Heineken Cup final in 2009 is a fantastic piece of news.
“Edinburgh’s hosting of the Heineken Cup Final in 2005 was a huge success so we look forward to welcoming the showpiece finale of Europe’s premier club competition back to Murrayfield Stadium next year.
“The announcement also adds further credibility to Scotland’s growing reputation as a destination for major events, providing a further boost to our achievements in hosting major events.”
Tickets for the Edinburgh 2009 Heineken Cup final at Murrayfield Stadium went on pre-sale today (Monday) to subscribers to ercrugby.com and to supporters who have previously purchased tickets early through Ticketmaster for the Cardiff 2006, London 2007 and Cardiff 2008 finals.
2008/09 Ticket Information –
Tickets will go on general sale to the public on Wednesday, May 21, 2008 from 12 noon through www.ticketmaster.co.uk (tel: 0844 847 2357 or 00442086165111) and are priced at £25, £40 and £60.with concessions tickets at £12.50, £20 and £30 available for Under-18s. Tickets may be subject to booking fees.
Scottish based fans can also purchase tickets from www.scottishrugby.org; via 0131 346 5100 (booking fee applies) or in person from Scottish Rugby’s Ticket Centre at Murrayfield.
2008/09 Heineken Cup Season –
ROUND 1 – October 10, 11, 12
ROUND 2 – October 17, 18, 19
ROUND 3 – December 5, 6, 7
ROUND 4 – December 12, 13, 14
ROUND 5 – January 16, 17, 18
ROUND 6 – January 23, 24, 25
QUARTER-FINALS – April 10, 11, 12
SEMI-FINALS – May 1, 2, 3
HEINEKEN CUP FINAL – EDINBURGH 2009 – May 23-24