We need to talk about…Where to play Racing

With Glasgow currently in the grips of some pretty atrocious weather the Warriors have to face the very real possibility of playing a second ‘home’ match in less than a month away from their Scotstoun base. The pitch off Danes Drive has standing water on it and with the rain showing no sign of abating it’s hard to see how it will be possible to get the surface playable in time. That being the case what are the alternatives?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Scotstoun yesterday

Firhill Stadium, Glasgow

Capacity: 10,102
Distance from Glasgow city centre: 2 miles (9 minutes by car)

Pros:
– Familiarity: Glasgow’s home for 5 seasons prior to moving to Scotstoun.
– Proximity: closest alternative.

Cons:
– Waterlogged: Partick Thistle had 2 games cancelled in December so the pitch may not be any better than Scotstoun.
– Facilities: food and drink outlets struggled to cope with the Warriors crowds 4 years ago when they were much smaller.

Broadwood Stadium, Cumbernauld

Capacity: 7,936
Distance: 12 miles (16 minutes)

Pros:
– Surface: 3G artificial pitch.
– Cost: council owned so potentially cheaper than renting from a more commercially-minded organisation.
– Size: only a little larger than Scotstoun so should keep the atmosphere.

Cons:
– Isolated: public transport links could be better and facilities around the stadium are lacking.
– New home: reasonably successful outing could encourage the SRU/Warriors to look at Broadwood as a permanent base. The poor access, distance from Glasgow and lack of any facilities around the stadium would make this a bad move in my opinion.

Excelsior Stadium, Airdrie

Capacity: 10,101
Distance: 14 miles (23 minutes)

Pros:
– Surface: 3G artificial pitch.
– Size: reasonable capacity with possibility for additional ticket sales.
– Elevation: 124 metres above sea level so less issues with water tables and the like that plague Scotstoun.

Cons:
– It’s in Airdrie.

Rugby Park, Kilmarnock

Capacity: 17,921
Distance: 24 miles (33 minutes)

Pros:
– Surface: 3G artificial pitch.
– Size: no worries about having to have allocated seat numbers while not being so big as to lose the atmosphere from the expected crowd.
– Pies: semi-legendary status.

Cons:
– Size: still a big space to fill to create the kind of environment that inspires the Warriors and puts off the opposition.
– Commentators: BT / Sky will spend 5 minutes of the match ‘hilariously’ riffing on the fact that they normally play football at Rugby Park.

BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh

Capacity: 67,144
Distance from Glasgow city centre: 43 miles (52 minutes by car)

Pros:
– Good surface and big pitch that should (in theory) suit Glasgow’s expansive game.
– Cheapest option: no additional rental cost and existing relationships for staffing, security etc.
– Experience – it’s a stadium the team have played at plenty of times before – over 300 matches among the current squad – so lack of familiarity should not be an issue.

Cons:
– Distance: Long way to travel for a ‘home’ game – costing time and money for fans.
– Size: pretty cavernous and atmosphere can be lacking when only 10% full.
– 1872 Cup: the Warriors’ faithful are still pretty raw from the last match that was moved to Murrayfield.

Other possibilities

  • Hampden Park – vast and rather soulless arena with even more of a running track issue than Scotstoun.
  • Ibrox Stadium – huge venue and with a grass pitch the football club are unlikely to want a rugby match tearing it up.
  • Celtic Park – in use on Saturday 23 January.

If the game does have to be moved where would you like to see it played? And would any of the venues suggested above cut it as a more permanent home for the Warriors?

Advertisements

4 comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s