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Dublin City Council look to scale back Dalymount Park project amid rising cost concerns

An estimated cost of €52 million has been deemed “potentially unviable for any benefit it will return over its life cycle”.

Dalymount Park.
Dalymount Park.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Updated Jul 28th 2022, 8:23 AM

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL have outlined concerns around the rising estimated cost of the redevelopment of Dalymount Park, and will now examine two alternative options to the original plan which was set to see Bohemians share the stadium with Shelbourne FC.

The ground was initially set to be completed in time for the 2020 European Championships, but has hit a series of complications since – not least Shelbourne’s decision to remain at their current home ground, Tolka Park.

The latest developments were disclosed in an update released by Dublin City Council on Wednesday evening.

In autumn 2018, a multi criteria analysis (MCA) and cost effectiveness analysis examining a number of options for the redevelopment of Dalymount Park found that the best option (option 3A) was a 6,000 Capacity Uefa Category 3 stadium, to be shared by Bohemians and Shelbourne. The site would include a new library and community facilities, and this option also included moving the pitch to lie north-south, rather than its current east-west position.

The estimated cost was €36million.

In January 2020, the Department of Transport, Tourism, & Sport (DTTAS) approved a provisional allocation of €918,750 for the design stages of the project, as part of the Large Scale Sports Infrastructure Fund. This funding was formally allocated to Dublin City Council in April 2021.

The preliminary design on ‘option 3A’was then completed in December 2021 with an estimated cost in excess of €52m, a figure described in the Dublin City Council statement as as “a substantial increase on the estimated costing of €36m that was completed as part of the appraisal in 2018.”

The statement continues: “The estimated cost of €52 million for the project is now potentially unviable for any benefit it will return over its life cycle. Other options including a scaled back version of the current design will need to be examined in detail before the project can progress to the next stage.

“In early 2022, the design team commenced a value engineering exercise on the ‘option 3A’ design. In March 2022, they provided a revised cost estimate of €46 million; this sum is also subject to ongoing cost inflation currently affecting all capital projects. 

“Another complication is the issue of Shelbourne FC publicly stating in February 2022 that they now no longer want to relocate to a redeveloped Dalymount Park. A revised business case for Dalymount based on a one-club model is now required to be factored into the project business plan going forward.”

Dublin City Council have now requested the design team to examine two options, a process which will include consultation with stakeholders, the local community and Bohemians.

The first option is a scaled back version of the original ‘option 3A’ backed in 2018.

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The second is ‘option 2′ from the MCA appraisal, which includes: leaving the Dalymount pitch in the same position, refurbishing the Jodi Stand, a new Main Stand with a potential capacity of 4-5,000 and community facilities, a new covered terrace with a potential capacity of around 2,000 and a small terrace at the east end of the stadium with a capacity of around 250-300.

The design team will complete a preliminary design and cost report on these two options, to be completed by 4 September. 

Whatever option is decided upon, Dublin City Council are hoping to meet the following timeline:

  • Detailed Design complete by 28 November 2022
  • Pre Part 8 Planning Process & Refining of Design
  • Part 8 Planning Submitted 1 May 2023
  • Part 8 Permission Approved 9 October 2023
  • Construction Phase completed 15 January 2026

The delivery of the above programme will be subject to confirmed substantial funding for the redevelopment of Dalymount Park to be made available through stream two of the LSSIF.  

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