History will be made at Murrayfield tomorrow when alcohol is permitted to be sold inside the stadium’s perimeter fence at Scotland’s World Cup match against Romania - relaxing legislation that has been in place for a quarter of a century.History will be made at Murrayfield tomorrow when alcohol is permitted to be sold inside the stadium’s perimeter fence at Scotland’s World Cup match against Romania - relaxing legislation that has been in place for a quarter of a century.
A change in the licensing legislation for Scotland rugby internationals was proposed by Kenny MacAskill MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Justice, in June. After a full report was submitted by the Lothian and Borders Police Licensing Section to the local Licensing Board, the green light for alcohol to be sold at Tuesday’s Romania match has now been given.
Tickets for Scotland’s World Cup clash against Romania are still available (see details below) and the clear message being sent to the thousands of supporters attending the match is that of responsible drinking.
Scotland Captain Jason White has recorded a personal message for spectators advocating responsible drinking, which will be shown on the large stadium screen at both tomorrow’s Romania match and Sunday’s New Zealand game. Huge posters advising supporters keep up their water and food intake are positioned at each of the 16 licensing units throughout the stadium grounds.
Wine, beer, non-alcoholic beers, water and soft drinks will be sold but no spirits will be on sale. Supporters will be limited to buying no more than four alcoholic drinks at one time and each licensing unit will be carefully supervised. Special “family areas” have been created for parents and children, where no alcohol will be sold.
The change in legislation at Scotland rugby internationals, allowing alcohol to be sold inside the stadium and taken to supporters’ seats, is on a match-by-match basis. This means the licensing application for Sunday’s full house against New Zealand will only get the final go ahead on Wednesday, if the review of the Romania match is favourable.
This cautionary move is supported by the Lothian and Borders Police and warmly welcomed by Scottish Rugby’s Stadium Manager, Mark Laidlaw.
He commented, “We don’t really anticipate there being any major problems after the Romania game as far as the sale of alcohol is concerned and we’re happy to work with the authorities in every way. Operationally it makes sense that an alcohol license is granted on a strictly match-by-match basis and this goes for future Six Nations matches as well.
“Historically rugby as a sport has a good track record in this area and we hope the change in legislation will cause no major problems inside the stadium and for our local residents.”
The two World Cup games this week against Romania and New Zealand are organised by France 2007, the organising committee for the Rugby World Cup.
However next year, starting with the 2008 RBS 6 Nations home games against France (3 February) and England (8 March), Scottish Rugby plans to use any income it receives from the sale of alcohol by ploughing it into the community game.
Scottish Rugby has confirmed ticket-sale arrangements in place on behalf of the French RWC Organising Committee. Tickets are still available for tomorrow’s Scotland v Romania match. (kick-off 8pm). Prices are as low as ?£9, and bookings can be made online (www.scottishrugby.org) or by phone (0131 346 5100) or visiting the Scottish Rugby Ticket Centre at Murrayfield today until 8.00pm and Tuesday 9.00am to 5.30pm
Scotland v Romania tickets purchased for collection from the Ticket Centre must be picked up by 6pm on match day.
Please note the Scotland v Romania match will NOT be shown live on STV and will be broadcast only on digital channel ITV3.