Celtic Park in Glasgow has been confirmed as the host venue for the 2019 Guinness PRO14 Final. The culmination of the Championship season will take place on Saturday, May 25th.
This is the first time that the showpiece game will take place in a stadium that is not a traditional rugby one. Since moving to the idea of a destination based final, where different stadia bid for the right to host, the game has been held at Kingspan Stadium in Belfast, BT Murrayfield in Edinburgh and for the last two years at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
The attendance at each game has climbed steadily from a sell out 17,500 in Belfast to a new record of 46,092 in May of this year.
The last time the Final was held in Scotland will have strong memories for Connacht who beat Leinster in front of 34,500.
The capacity of Celtic Park is a little over 60,000. It has previously hosted Cycling and Athletics as well as perhaps the most passionately supported football matches in the sport.
Interestingly this wil be one of the first major international sporting events to take place following Britain’s exit from the European Union, scheduled to take place two months earlier.
“Bringing our Final to a world-famous stadium like Celtic Park is a truly historic step in the evolution of the Guinness PRO14,” said PRO14 Rugby CEO Martin Anayi.
“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.”
“I’m delighted we’ve been able to secure the 2019 Guinness PRO14 Final for the city of Glasgow, which will see the showpiece event played at Celtic Park, an iconic football ground in the west of Scotland,” added Dominic McKay, Chief Operating Officer of Scottish Rugby and PRO14 Board Director.
“We hosted an outstanding Final for the Championship in Edinburgh two years ago and I’m delighted that we will be able to build on this in a city where rugby is really taking off thanks to Glasgow Warriors and our local rugby clubs.”
“Rugby was a huge success in Glasgow for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, while Rugby Park and Pittodrie have also been great venues for Autumn Test matches over the years. This announcement is another great example of the sports working together.”
“We are very proud that the Guinness PRO14 Final is coming to Celtic Park for what we’re sure will be a fabulous occasion for the city of Glasgow, rugby supporters and for Celtic,” concluded Peter Peter Lawwell, CEO of Celtic FC.
“Celtic Park is a world-class venue and our success of hosting events in the 2014 Commonwealth games and on Champions League nights where we have welcomed some of the biggest names in world football, proves that the stadium can produce unforgettable experiences time after time.”
“We look forward to welcoming rugby fans from far and wide to Paradise on May 25 to share in the atmosphere of Celtic Park, we are sure it is an experience they will enjoy immensely.”
Premier Sports will be the host broadcaster on the day. The match will be shown live, along with all Guinness PRO 14 Rugby matches this season on eir Sport here in Ireland, starting with Leinster away to the Scarlets on Friday, August 31st.
Image Credit: Galway Races and Inpho Photography