The Myreside Experiment comes to an end

It is with a mixture of delight and apprehension that I greet the end of the Myreside experiment.

In the years of supporting Edinburgh, we’ve been through so many failed experiments.

On the plus side, we’ve had the joy of experiencing previously unexplored corners of the city. I eagerly await the “Former Edinburgh Grounds Walking Tour” show at this year’s Fringe!

It’s heart-warming to see the club finally listen to the idea of a “Mini-Murrayfield” option that has been getting suggested for years, particularly by the oft-ignored and long-suffering Supporters Club.

So what went wrong with Myreside?

For me it was hubris and a lack of willingness to listen to fans, until it was too late. By the time this season rolled round, a number of the issues had been solved, but with attendances never topping 4k this year, it certainly didn’t catch the imagination of fans locally. This despite a team that were (and are still) showing a huge improvement in form and becoming a joy to watch under Richard Cockerill’s guidance.

As an out of town Edinburgh fan, it genuinely beggars belief that you would move from a stadium with amazing public transport links and with plentiful parking to a school ground that has neither. When I e-mailed Edinburgh Rugby about this, I described this as “irresponsible”, a comment I stand by.

Like most cities, Edinburgh struggles with traffic congestion and parking issues. Moving one of the city’s biggest sports teams into a cramped residential area was never wise. It also meant a lot of travelling fans having to wearily give up on the team they supported unless they were on BBC Alba, as making kick-off on a Friday evening became an exercise in futility.

Some of the other problems with Myreside almost seem comically bad, especially when you consider how slick the match day experience is at BT Murrayfield on international days.

Having most of the food vans and bars situated before the ticket checks often resulted in a dextrous juggling of food, beer and tickets. Sure, that’s annoying on a wet Friday night, but if you can pull that off on the Royal Mile in August, tourists will throw money at you. The unlit, honking, Portaloos right next to one of the burger vans also acted as a more effective healthy eating message that any number of NHS campaigns.

However, the sight of fans in Wheelchairs getting soaked by run-off rainwater from the stands is the most embarrassed I’ve ever been as a supporter (yes, worse even that that season where we lost to everyone in our Heineken Cup Pool!). This was thankfully remedied in time for the next game but it’s the kind of thing that should have been anticipated in advance of the move.

If any good comes from this, it’s a hope that the club has learned lessons from this and put them to good use moving forward. We have a great team and a number of wonderful, passionate/demented fans.

I’m looking forward to returning to our Castle and enjoying the company of both.

by Phil Dyreside

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Created using the combined powers of the Scottish Rugby Blog team.

17 comments on “The Myreside Experiment comes to an end

  1. dark beer on

    what has changed? Well Jonathan Davies might be asking what certain Welsh sides bring to the table for one.
    But some things don’t change.
    Edinburgh fan moaning about Myreside. Just as many Edinburgh fans moaned about Murrayfield being too big and soul-less. It will still be too big and soul-less for the vast majority of matches. And when either mini-Murrayfield does not happen – or worse, it does but access to the main stadium off limits or severely restricted (think about why that might be), there will be further moaning an gnashing of teeth.

    Fans are entitled to moan and whinge or attend or not. Up to each individual. But some Edinburgh fans have a unique ability to find reasons not to. Its a hard hard sell to some – short of chauffer driven limos to and from the game, heated seats and unlimited free G&Ts (and the lemon slice would be too thick).

    Frankly the SRU and Edinburgh Rugby were damned if they try to move and damned if they didn’t

    Reply
    • Jontymo on

      Couldn’t have put it any better – some will always moan rather than get on and support a team that absolutely deserves it.

      Reply
    • Craig on

      Disagree, season ticket holder at Murrayfield, travel to most away games. Tried watching Edinburgh at Myreside against Zebre in the summer. No atmosphere, poor seating in the tin sheds, no view, tv screen a waste of time, still didn’t work out where the clock was, long queue for toilets, even the players didn’t like it and asked for music. I could go on. Off to murrayfield tonight to support the team and taking my 5 year old son next week. We wouldn’t have went to Myreside

      Reply
  2. Busy Little Bee on

    Is it out of the question to ground share Tynecastle? I don’t see why not.

    I remember the first match at Myreside last season was an awful performance in a loss, the gate of 6k+ that night dropped below 4k for the next match and hasn’t recovered since.

    How come the gates are still 4k this season with the team doing better, half of these guys make up the Scotland side who get 68k every match these days. 4k is a disgrace in a city like Edinburgh.

    Reply
  3. Stuart on

    Today would be a great occasion if Edinburgh had a decent ground. As it is it’s hard to get excited for a game in an empty stadium.

    O/T but if Saracens defeat Leinster this weekend then Leinster will only have three games in seven weeks before their semi final match. And with those matches being against Zebre, Benneton and Connacht there is a good chance they will be extremely undercooked.

    Reply
  4. TeamCam on

    That was vintage Edinburgh. It looked like a professional team vs. an amateur team. That said, I’ve no idea how Cardiff didn’t get a second yellow.

    Reply
  5. Merlot on

    Agreed. Should’ve been a second yellow. How SHC is being let go and Fowles even gets paid is beyond me.
    Maybe a little drunk and upset but if Fowler is kept on its a travesty. That first try was laughable. For anyone not supporting Edinburgh.

    Reply
  6. Captain positive on

    Seems crazy the difference in atmosphere between Edinburgh and Glasgow.
    Edinburgh desperately need their own 5500-6000 stadium with the options to expand as solid crowds grow.

    7000 people in BT Murrayfield … can hardly tell.
    How long till Wanderers clubhouse lease up ?

    Reply
  7. JohnMc on

    Very disappointing, below par performance from Edinburgh this evening. Not quite as awful as the La Rochelle meltdown, but not far from it. Credit to Cardiff for taking their chances and toughing it out, with 14 players that should have been 13 in the final ten mins. No excuses for Embra though.
    Really need to recover from this for the Pro 14 run in. I feel sorry for RC, who’s done so much to turn this side round this year.

    Reply

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