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Location Gorgie Road, Edinburgh, Scotland
Coordinates 55°56′21″N 3°13′56″W / 55.93917°N 3.23222°W / 55.93917; -3.23222Coordinates: 55°56′21″N 3°13′56″W / 55.93917°N 3.23222°W / 55.93917; -3.23222
Opened 10 April 1886
Renovated 1994-1997
Owner Heart of Midlothian F.C.
Surface Grass
Architect Archibald Leitch (Main Stand), Jim Clydesdale (Wheatfield, Roseburn and Gorgie Stands)
Capacity 17,420[1]
Heart of Midlothian F.C.

Tynecastle Stadium is a football stadium situated in the Gorgie area of Edinburgh, Scotland. The stadium currently plays host to the home matches of Scottish Premier League team Heart of Midlothian F.C. The all-seater stadium is affectionately nicknamed Tynie by Hearts fans. For the second year running, Tynecastle has been voted as having the best atmosphere in Scotland's top division in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League Fans' Survey.

Tynecastle currently has a seating capacity of 17,420,[1] which makes it the eighth largest stadium in Scotland behind Murrayfield, Celtic Park, Hampden, Ibrox, Pittodrie, Rugby Park and Easter Road.

Hearts submitted a planning application in February 2008 to replace the ageing main stand, which was designed by Archibald Leitch. The proposals include a 10,000 seat stand and a hotel, office space, restaurants and bars and would bring the capacity of Tynecastle to 23,000. As of December 2009, no work has begun or is scheduled to begin on the main stand redevelopment.[2]




Early years

Hearts moved to the then peripheral Gorgie area from central Edinburgh in 1881, to a ground named Tynecastle Park. This pitch stood on the site of the present-day Wardlaw Street and Wardlaw Terrace. Five years later, with the city continuing to expand, tenements replaced the old ground and Hearts moved to a 'New Tynecastle', the present ground, on the other side of Gorgie Road. Hearts staged a challenge match against Bolton Wanderers F.C. to inaugurate their new home, the first visitors being defeated 4-1.

In 1892 Tynecastle hosted its first international fixture, against Wales. Scotland won 6–1 but only 1,200 fans watched because a snow storm had crossed the city and many assumed that the game would be postponed. 1892 also saw Tynecastle provide a roof on the original "South" stand.

New century

Tynecastle underwent substantial changes in the early twentieth century. 1903 saw a further small stand and pavilion built on the eastern side of the ground, while in 1911, a covered enclosure was erected on the western, "distillery" side. In 1914, the two old stands and pavilion were replaced by a pitch-length grandstand (the present Main Stand), designed by the renowned stadium architect Archibald Leitch. The cost of the new facility was £12,000, double the original estimate, and Hearts were required to sell their most valuable player, Percy Dawson, to Blackburn Rovers for £2,500 to meet the bill.

In 1927, Hearts gave the BBC permission to begin radio commentaries from the ground. Around this time Hearts purchased the previously rented ground and further improvements were carried out to meet spectator demand, with the 1911 enclosure being removed and the terracing on the three open sides being banked up to the grounds' limits. New turnstiles were built on Wheatfield Street and crowd distribution tunnels created to allow access to the terraces. Tynecastle's record attendance was achieved 5 years later, when 53,396 attended a Scottish Cup tie against Rangers on 13 February 1932.

It appeared Hearts might leave Tynecastle in 1939, when following the return of a healthy profit, the directors actively considered the building of a new out-of-town ground at Sighthill. The start of the Second World War halted these schemes however, and Tynecastle earned a reprieve.

Post-war developments

Tynecastle became Scotland's first all-concrete stadium in 1954. Following the modernisation of the stadium, the club architects said that the capacity stood at 54,359 but for safety reasons only 49,000 should be allowed during big matches. Three years later, Tynecastle had a floodlighting system installed, which was inaugurated with a special match against rivals Hibernian while 1959 witnessed a further addition, with the construction of a roof over the terracing along part of the "distillery" side and in the north-west corner of the ground. This work was reputedly paid for by the sale of Dave Mackay to Tottenham Hotspur.

The facade of the main stand at Tynecastle

Stricter ground safety regulations came into force following the Ibrox disaster in 1971, and Tynecastle's capacity was cut to under 30,000 with the installation of seating on the "distillery" covered terrace and in the Main Stand paddock in the early and mid 1980s respectively. Also around this time, commercial developments led to the creation of sponsors lounges and facilities in the Main Stand.

Recent renovation

The Gorgie and Wheatfield stands at dusk.

The Taylor Report, implemented after the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, required all major sports grounds to become all-seated and again almost led to Hearts leaving Tynecastle. Only after a planning application for a development at Millerhill was rejected by the City of Edinburgh Council did Hearts commit to the stadium's redevelopment.

In 1994, the entire western and northern sides of the ground were demolished, allowing for the construction of the Wheatfield Stand that year and the Roseburn Stand the following year. Temporary seating was installed on the (southern) Gorgie Road end terracing until 1997, when this too was razed, to be replaced by the Gorgie Stand. This stand also contained the Gorgie Suite, which was opened by the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Eric Milligan, and a new club superstore.

In 2005, the pitch dimensions were altered to meet UEFA standards, necessitating the removal of the lowest rows of seating in the Gorgie and Roseburn Stands. As a result, the overall capacity was reduced from 18,000 to 17,420.

Campaign to save Tynecastle

In 2004, then club CEO Chris Robinson announced plans to sell Tynecastle, which he claimed was “not fit for purpose”[3]. Hearts would have rented Murrayfield from the SRU instead. The prime motivation for this move was to eradicate the club’s increasing debt.

The plan was almost universally unpopular with supporters, and a campaign, entitled ‘’Save Our Hearts’’, was set up to try to block the move[4]. In spite of this, Robinson and those supporting his actions controlled a slender majority of the issued shares and it appeared that a sale would be completed, particularly after a deal was preliminarily agreed to sell the site for just over £20 million to Cala Homes, a property development company[5].

The sale was cancelled, however, when Vladimir Romanov purchased the club in January 2005, invoking a clause in the initial agreement that allowed for its annulment upon the payment of a fixed sum of £75,000[6].

The Romanov era

Following the clubs January 2005 takeover by Vladimir Romanov, the club’s short-term future at Tynecastle was assured. The new ownership revealed that in the long-term capacity had to be increased – either by improving Tynecastle or moving to a new purpose-built home.

On 20 August 2007 the club announced they were “at an advanced stage” in plans for demolishing the aged Main Stand and replacing it with a 10,000 seat stand with a hotel and leisure facilities incorporated. A planning application was lodged with Edinburgh City Council in February 2008. This development would raise capacity to 23,000, but the proposal has been shelved for at least another year.[7]

Since Romanov's purchase of the club, Tynecastle has won the award of the most atmospheric stadium in the SPL for two years running, in 2008 and 2009.

International matches at Tynecastle

Tynecastle has been a home venue for the Scottish national side on 9 occasions. It regularly played host to the British Home Championship match with Wales, which was considered to have the least box-office potential and was often played outside of Glasgow. After the Second World War, however, Scottish Football Association policy favoured playing all home matches at Hampden Park in Glasgow unless exceptional circumstances prevented Scotland playing there.

26 March 1892
Scotland  6 – 1  Wales Home International
Attendance: 1,200
Referee: J. Reid (Ireland)
W Thomson 1’
J Hamilton 8’, 65’
J McPherson 15’, 44’
D Baird 55’
B Lewis

3 March 1906
Scotland  0 – 2  Wales Home International
Attendance: 25,000
Referee: J. Lewis (England)
W Jones 50’
JL Jones 65’

2 March 1912
Scotland  1 – 0  Wales Home International
Attendance: 31,000
Referee: J. Mason (England)
Quinn 88'

14 February 1925
Scotland  3 – 1  Wales Home International
Attendance: 25,000
Referee: A. Ward (England)
D Meiklejohn 9'
H Gallacher 20’, 61’
W Williams

26 October 1932
Scotland  2 – 5  Wales Home International
Attendance: 31,000
Referee: P. Harper (England)
N Dewar 63'
D Duncan 66’
J Thomson (o.g.)
T Griffiths
E O'Callaghan (2)
D Astley

13 November 1935
Scotland  2 – 1 Ireland  Home International
Attendance: 30,000
Referee: H. Nattrass (England)
T Walker 60’
D Duncan 89’
J Kelly

9 November 1938
Scotland  3 – 2  Wales Home International
Attendance: 34,800
Referee: T.J. Thompson (England)
T Gillick 30'
T Walker 83', 84'
D Astley
L Jones

10 October 1998
Scotland  3 – 2  Estonia European Championship Qualifier
Attendance: 16,930
Referee: Marques (Portugal)
B Dodds 70', 85’
S Hohlov-Simson (o.g.) 79'
(Report) S Hohlov-Simson 34’
M Smirnov 76’

27 May 2003
Scotland  1 – 1  New Zealand International Challenge Match
Attendance: 10,016
Referee: Ingvarsson (Sweden)
S Crawford 11' (Report) R Nelsen 47'

Neutral venue for semi-finals

Tynecastle has been used as a neutral venue for domestic cup semi-finals on numerous occasions, most frequently when these games involve teams from the east or north-east of Scotland (such as Aberdeen, Dundee United or Hibernian). At one stage during the 1920s, Tynecastle hosted a Scottish Cup semi-final in 4 consecutive years. In total 19 Scottish Cup semi-finals (not including replays) and 10 League Cup semi-finals have been staged at the ground.

However, since the advent of regular live television coverage caused semi-finals to be played at different times, it has been SFA policy to stage both Scottish Cup semi-finals at Hampden, where possible. League Cup semi-finals are still staged at smaller venues depending upon the participants. The last Scottish Cup semi-final hosted at Tynecastle was Aberdeen’s defeat of Hibernian in 1992–93. The last League Cup semi-final was the 2007–08 meeting of Dundee United and Aberdeen, where Dundee United won 4–1.

Other notable events

Under-16 World Cup

Tynecastle was a venue when Scotland hosted the Under-16 World Cup in 1989. Initial group-stage matches were sparsely attended, however, on 20 June 1989, 28,555 spectators watched Scotland defeat a Portugal side containing Rui Costa and Luís Figo 1–0 in the semi-final. Scotland went on to lose the final to Saudi Arabia.

Rugby League

The Gorgie ground has also hosted rugby league matches on four occasions. In 1911 a test match between England and Australia ended in an 11-11 draw. Eight decades later, the newly created Super League again attempted to promote the sport in Scotland, moving two league fixtures to Tynecastle. The 1998 meeting between Harlequins Rugby League\London Broncos and Bradford Bulls drew over 7,000 fans, while the following year Gateshead Thunder met Wigan Warriors before a smaller crowd. In 2000, Tynecastle staged a sectional tie in the Rugby League World Cup between Scotland and Samoa, which the Samoans won 20-12.


  • Inglis, Simon (1987) (Paperback). The Football Grounds of Great Britain (2nd Edition). Collins Willow. ISBN 0-00-218249-1.  
  • Speed, David; Smith, Bill, Blackwood, Graham (1984). Heart of Midlothian Football Club: A Pictorial History 1874-1984. Heart of Midlothian F.C. plc. (ISBN 0-9510124-1-X).  


External links

Simple English

Tynecastle Stadium

Tynecastle is a Scottish football stadium. It is owned by Hearts of Midlothian F.C. who play their home games at the stadium.


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