Edinburgh Wins Bid For Scotland's Sprawling $47.5M Multi-Sport Performance Center
Edinburgh, Scotland has "beaten off competition from Dundee and Stirling" to host the new national sports performance center, according to Rory Reynolds of the SCOTSMAN. The huge £30M ($47.5M) facility will feature a "Hampden-sized pitch, an outdoor synthetic pitch, four outdoor natural football and two rugby pitches, a nine court sports hall, a 3G indoor football pitch and a fitness suite." Scottish architect firm Reiach & Hall said that the center's roof "is inspired by the angle and trajectory of what is recognized as one of the greatest goals in football history, Brazil's Roberto Carlos' strike against France in 1997" (SCOTSMAN, 9/12). The BBC reported the center will offer high-performance support "for football, rugby and volleyball and be operational by 2016." Athletics, badminton, basketball, cricket, fencing, field hockey and the Scottish sport of shinty "will also receive assistance." The new facility will be backed by £25M ($39.5M) from the Scottish government and £2.5M ($4M) from "each of Heriot-Watt University and the City of Edinburgh Council and it is expected that construction will start in the spring of 2014" (BBC, 9/12).
'THE JEWEL IN THE CROWN': The Scotland DAILY RECORD reported Scottish FA CEO Stewart Regan believes the project "will rival anything the English have built at St George's Park." The English FA built its national performance center at Burton at a cost of more than £100M ($158M), but Regan "hopes Scotland's version will prove to be just as good at a fraction of the cost." Regan said, "This is the jewel in the crown for Scotland's performance strategy." Regan is "most hopeful that it will have a tangible effect on the prospects of the nation's football team." Regan: "It will be a one-stop shop to provide all our needs prior to a major match, both home and away" (DAILY RECORD, 9/12).
'TREMENDOUS NEWS': STV reported Heriot-Watt University Professor Steve Chapman said that the announcement was "tremendous news." Chapman: "Our real reward, however, isn't winning the bid, but will come when the center is up and running and we can see it making a real difference to Scotland's sporting future" (STV, 9/12).