New design: Edinburgh’s shrinking sporting heart

source:; author: michał

New design: Edinburgh’s shrinking sporting heart No match for Murrayfield or the two football stadia, but Meadowbank is Edinburgh’s largest multi-use stadium since the 1970 Commonwealth Games. Now it might undergo a revamp that isn’t unanimously approved.


The multi-use Meadowbank in eastern Edinburgh, in football terms home to Edinburgh City FC, is earmarked for redevelopment. It’s by no means the first plan, but no scheme so far proved successful in reviving the aged infrastructure.

Current goal is to reduce the surface of 1970 Commonwealth Games complex while retaining key functions. Though the field with running track will remain in place, all of the stands and terraces around it will vanish, reducing capacity from 16,500 (at peak) to just 500 seats.


The only new grandstand will be part of a much larger pavilion that will also comprise two indoor halls, three fitness studios, gym, gymnastics hall, two squash courts, indoor athletics training facilities and other amenities for community and professional use.

Outside the stadium only a synthetic football field will be created and training site for athletes. Old velodrome will be demolished and – like other parts of the site – replaced with housing. The below comparison shows how much of the plot will be cut off for housing and commercial use, forcing the entire Meadowbank complex to be far more compact than it is today.


Currently the 2nd week of consultation is ending, with opinions from residents anticipated up to December 31. Already now the project has raised significant opposition from Edinburgh Athletic Club.

The club blasted the proposed facilities as not “fit for the purpose of staging competition events, even at the lower levels”. Coach Allan Wells suggests Scotland would use its only fully equipped athletic stadium with the proposed changes.

One of these is a synthetic turf for the main field, which means that long throwing events won’t be held there anymore. Such alterations, combined with overall reduction of the complex’s size, seems to be a major obstacle in getting the community on board at this point. But, if the project gets its much needed support, it might cost up to £41 million to deliver ($51m).