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Dublin: 5 °C Friday 14 December, 2018

Big chance for GAA to upgrade stadia if Ireland's RWC 2023 bid is successful

There are 8 GAA stadiums currently on the long list.

pjimage (2) Fitzgerald Stadium and Elverys MacHale Park are two of the stadiums shortlisted. Source: INPHO

THERE WILL BE a major chance for the GAA to upgrade some of its stadiums if Ireland’s bid to stage the 2023 Rugby World Cup bid is successful.

It was announced last November that there are 12 venues on the long list for Ireland’s bid, which will be ultimately reduced to eight or 10 venues for the staging of the tournament.

Currently there are eight GAA stadiums on that list:

  • Casement Park, Belfast
  • Celtic Park, Derry
  • Croke Park, Dublin
  • Elverys MacHale Park, Castlebar
  • Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney
  • Nowlan Park, Kilkenny
  • Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Cork
  • Pearse Stadium, Galway

And GAA Director-General Páraic Duffy believes there is now a chance for those stadiums selected to be upgraded permanently to a recognised international standard.

Duffy insists he is not referring to converting stadia into all-seater venues as terracing is permitted in Rugby World Cup venues.

But in the case of a successful bid, there will be a demand for government investment to upgrade venues and the prospect of temporary improvements being made permanent should be investigated.

The outcome of the bid will be known later this year in November.

“The terracing is not an issue around the Rugby World Cup particularly,” outlined Duffy.

“That’s the way the IRFU bid is, it’s around a mixture of stand and terrace.

“It’s around things like, media facilities, big screens, infrastructure that will be an absolute requirement for a successful World Cup bid.

Bid Announcement for the 2023 Rugby World Cup The bid for the 2023 Rugby World Cup was announced in November. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

“Croke Park is fine, but any of the rest of them if Ireland is successful, the Rugby World Cup will want to put in facilities on a temporary basis.

“It would make sense if you’re being funded to put in (improvements) on a temporary basis and the gap to make it permanent is manageable, then it makes sense to make them permanent.

Paraic Duffy Páraic Duffy at yesterday's launch of his annual report Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

“I think there is an opportunity for the GAA in this to upgrade some of the stadia that will be selected to a high spec.

“It will be one of the real benefits of a successful Rugby World Cup bid for us. I have discussed this with Philip Browne and he would agree with us on that.

“They (IRFU) will support us in that if the bid is successful. The staging of the World Cup would provide a huge boost for the Irish economy and with good long-term planning it can also leave a very significant and positive legacy for the GAA.”

Source: The42 GAA/SoundCloud

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Fintan O'Toole

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