Parkhead To Host The League Cup Final

Celtic Park will host next month's Scottish League Cup final, the Scottish Professional Football League has announced.

Aberdeen are due to face Inverness as the first major piece of silverware of the season is contested. 

But with Hampden unavailable as it is readied for the Commonwealth Games, Celtic Park has beaten off competition from Rangers' Ibrox Stadium to hold the March 16 showpiece.

The home of Neil Lennon's Scottish Premiership leaders has already been announced as the venue for May's William Hill Scottish Cup final while Ibrox will stage both semis. 

The National Stadium at Hampden is currently being renovated for use as the athletics venue at Glasgow 2014.

With Aberdeen looking to win their first trophy since 1995 and Inverness looking forward to their first ever major final, the SPFL say it opted to award the final to the 60,000-capacity Parkhead arena because of the expected high ticket demand. 

The league body said in a statement: ``The SPFL had to select a venue for the cup final taking into account the likely demand for tickets, segregation and ticket allocation options, the quality of stadia available and a range of other factors. 

``The expected demand for tickets from fans dictated that only Celtic Park or Ibrox Stadium would provide the necessary capacity. 

``Celtic Park was selected after a thorough analysis of the stadium options available and detailed discussions with both Celtic FC and Rangers FC. The SPFL would like to thank both clubs for their positive participation in the process.'' 

Aberdeen booked their place in the final with a 4-0 drubbing of St Johnstone at Tynecastle on Saturday, while nine-man Inverness grabbed a last-gasp equaliser in their 2-2 draw with Hearts to force extra-time at Easter Road before winning 4-2 on penalties. 

SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster added: ``After two exciting and dramatic semi-finals, we are looking forward to an equally entertaining final at Celtic Park. We had to choose between two first-class football stadiums, each of which has a long pedigree of successfully hosting important, high-profile games. 

``This will be the first Cup Final to be held under the auspices of the SPFL. We are sure that Celtic Park, with its vast experience of hosting major European football matches, will provide a venue worthy of such a historic match. 

``We look forward to welcoming the players, staff and supporters of Aberdeen FC and Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC to Glasgow next month.'' 

The SPFL expects to make an announcement on ticket allocations and prices after talks with police and both clubs.