Heineken Cup Final Weekend Offers Major Boost to Scotland’s Capital
The Heineken Cup final will be the biggest club rugby match ever played in Scotland and it is estimated that it could be worth £30 million to the Scottish economy.
Scottish Rugby's acting chief executive Fred McLeod said: "Independent economic impact studies have concluded that a Six Nations match at Murrayfield (in a year whereFrance and England were our visitors) was worth some £20 million to the Scottish economy, £10 million of which is spent in the Edinburgh area.
"Ticket sales for the 10th anniversary Heineken Cup Final show that already more than 15,000 spectators will be coming to Murrayfield from outwithScotland and that number is growing as supporters of Stade Francais Paris and Toulouse eagerly snap up tickets.
"When one considers that approximately 6,000 tickets are provided for away supporters at Six Nations matches then the indications are clear that there will be major economic benefits for both the local and national economy from the Heineken Cup Final coming to Scotland. Indeed, statistics provided by one of our partners, VisitScotland, show that hotel occupancy for the Edinburgh area is already up by 12% for the Heineken Cup Final weekend on the average figure for the year."
ERC and Scottish Rugby are aiming for a packed Murrayfield on Sunday 22 May and over 42,000 tickets for the final have already been snapped up with a further 6,000 to 8,000 French supporters expected to converge on Edinburgh for the final. ERC and Scottish Rugby, together with partners VisitScotland, EventScotland and the City of Edinburgh Council have developed a TV, radio and press marketing campaign promoting the final as “European Rugby’s Biggest Party”
A programme of activities and entertainment for Edinburgh and Murrayfield have been planned to ensure the Edinburgh 2005 Heineken Cup final will be a truly memorable sporting occasion on and off the field.
Tickets are still available throughwww.scottishrugby.com and www.ticketmaster.co.uk.
Commenting on the appeal of the Heineken Cup final, Derek McGrath, ERC Chief Executive said, "The quality of the two teams in the final combined with extensive programme of activities planned for the City and Murrayfield will make the 10th anniversary Heineken Cup final a sporting occasion not to be missed. We are calling on the people of Scotland to come and experience a Heineken Cup final in Murrayfield. We don’t want people to wake up on a Monday morning and say I have missed a great game of rugby and a wonderful day out.”
The two French giants, Stade Francais Paris and Toulouse, - just three points separate them in the Top 16 as they head towards the French Championship semi-finals - are among the creme de la creme of the European club game. Stade Francais Paris are the reigning French champions (2003 & 2004), a title they have won 13 times, and were narrowly beaten 34-30 by Leicester Tigers in the 2001 Heineken Cup final in Paris.
Toulouse, who lifted the Heineken Cup in 1996 and 2003 and were piped 27-20 in last season's Twickenham thriller, have lifted the French title 16 times. The clubs produced an outstanding match in the Top 16 last weekend, Stade Francais finishing the stronger to run out 40-19 winners in front of a capacity 44,500 Parc des Princes crowd.
That underlines the glamour and pulling power of clubs who can each boast an astonishing 21 Test players in their current Heineken Cup squads, the 42 internationals coming from nine different countries and including national Captains Fabien Pelous (France), Gareth Thomas (Wales) and Agustin Pichot (Argentina).
And 14 of them featured in the 2005 Six Nations - Pelous, Christophe Dominici, Frederic Michalak, Jannick Jauzion, Benoit Baby, Cedric Heymans, Brian Liebenberg, Sylvain Marconnet, Pieter de Villiers, William Servat and Gregory Lamboley for France, Thomas for Wales and the Bergamasco brothers Mauro and Mirco for Italy.
For further information please contact:
Graham Law on 0131 346 5164