7 Jun, 15:39
ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
The decision was announced in a letter to the club's season ticket holders today.
The professional team have been based at Meadowbank Stadium for the last two years but have taken the decision to move with a view to improving the overall Edinburgh Rugby experience for all their stakeholders.
"Moving to Murrayfield will create the best possible environment for our players, coaches, supporters, sponsors, business partners and media," declared Edinburgh Rugby Chief Executive Jim McKenzie.
The club had been in exploratory talks with Hibernian FC about the possibility of ground-sharing at Easter Road but that option could not be followed through as Hibs were concerned about potential over-use of their pitch.
Two of Edinburgh Rugby's best performances in the past two seasons occurred on the wide open spaces of the international pitch at Murrayfield Stadium, tailor-made to the expansive approach preached by coach Frank Hadden - their Heineken Cup victory over London Irish in 2002-03 and last season's Celtic League triumph over Leinster Lions.
Jim McKenzie said: "Players, spectators and media will benefit from the move to Murrayfield. One key drawback of Meadowbank was the poor lighting of approximately 300 lux compared to 1500 lux state of the art floodlighting at Murrayfield.
"We will also be able to offer improved seating accommodation for supporters. We will be using the lower east stand immediately next to the pitch, as opposed to the situation at Meadowbank where fans were separated from the action by the track and jumps area.
"In addition our off-the-field catering, bars, hospitality and merchandise areas will be superior."
McKenzie acknowledged that there had been an option to stay at Meadowbank but as the stadium is planned for closure under the City of Edinburgh Council's projected sports provision it is unlikely facilities could have been improved.
He added; "I know that everyone's match-day experience will be enhanced by our move to Murrayfield - particularly if we deliver on the pitch. I am looking forward to the coming season and believe that the total product we'll be offering our supporters will be the best ever."