Glasgow’s Celtic Park will next year become the first non-traditional rugby union venue to host the Pro14 Final, it has been announced today (Monday).
The 60,000-seat stadium, which is home to Scottish Premiership football club Celtic, will host the final of the cross-border rugby union competition on May 25 next year.
It will mark the first time the championship decider has been held in Scotland since Edinburgh’s Murrayfield stadium played host in 2016.
The 2017 and 2018 matches were both played at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium, with this year’s fixture attracting a record crowd of 46,092. The match has been played at ‘destination venues’ since 2015, with hosting rights having previously been assigned through a merit-based system.
The league, which features teams from Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Italy and South Africa, said hosting its showpiece match at Celtic Park would open up the competition to fans “new and old”.
Pro14 Rugby chief executive Martin Anayi said: “Bringing our final to a world-famous stadium like Celtic Park is a truly historic step in the evolution of the Guinness Pro14. Since introducing destination final venues in 2015 we have seen the event thrive by making it about fans of rugby and not just the supporters of the two teams competing for the trophy.
“The bid put forward by Scottish Rugby, Celtic FC and the City of Glasgow was compelling from the very beginning and we’re certain that fans across the Guinness Pro14 will share in our excitement. Glasgow has so much to offer in terms of hospitality, culture and heritage and like our previous finals in Dublin, Edinburgh and Belfast we can offer fans so much more than just a rugby experience.
“In the past number of seasons we have made many bold decisions which have transformed the Guinness Pro14 for the better and the choice of Celtic Park as the venue for the 2019 final is yet another signal of our ambition to provide the best club rugby tournament possible for our clubs and our fans.”