A family-owned sports facility located immediately next to Murrayfield Stadium in W Central Edinburgh, Murrayfield Ice Rink represents the largest permanently-seated indoor arena in Scotland. Accessed by pedestrians through Roseburn Park or via a road-bridge across the Water of Leith from Riversdale Crescent, the building cost £60,000 and was completed in 1939, on the eve of World War II, but was immediately requisitioned by the Army. It was not until 1952 that it finally opened to the public.
The Olympic-sized ice pad measures 61m (200 feet) by 29.5m (97 feet) and supports a range of activities including leisure skating, which attracts more than 200,000 members of the public annually, together with figure skating, 'learn to skate' sessions, skate disco and ice hockey. Formerly the home of Murrayfield Racers ice hockey team, who were British champions in the 1970s and 80s, it is now the home of Edinburgh Capitals. Seating is provided for 3500 spectators. Curling takes place in a separate seven-sheet rink which was attached to the western corner of the original building in 1980. This is said to be the busiest curling rink in Northern Europe and is managed independently. It is home to several clubs, including Edinburgh Curling Club, Merchiston Curling Club (founded in 1809), Penicuik Curling Club (founded 1815), Peebles Curling Club (1821), Haddington Curling Club (1846) and Aberlady Curling Club (1860).
Over the years, the ice rink has hosted many other events. It was the venue for the Commonwealth Games Boxing Tournament in 1970, and for the Games' Closing Ceremony. In 1993, the Harlem Globetrotters played an exhibition basketball match here in front of a capacity crowd. The rink also served as a location for the film Small Faces (1996).
The ice rink was refurbished in 2009 and facilities include a cafeteria and the Riversdale Suite, which provides a venue for small conferences, functions and meetings, with a capacity of 100 people.
Edinburgh once other ice rinks; a short-lived facility at Lochrin and a more enduring rink next to Haymarket Station that was a focus for curling. This opened in 1912 on the site of James Swan and Company's former cattle market, which had just relocated to the New Markets at Chesser. Haymarket Ice Rink closed in 1978. A further rink at Gogar Park closed in 2005 to make way for the Royal Bank of Scotland Headquarters.