Cork GAA may sell Páirc Uí Chaoimh naming rights to help fund redevelopment

The stadium is set to re-open in June 2017.

An artist's impression of the stadium's new south stand.
An artist's impression of the stadium's new south stand.

CORK GAA CHIEFS have indicated that selling of naming rights for the redeveloped Páirc Uí Chaoimh is likely to help make up the shortfall between funding and the final cost of the project.

Following a media tour of the stadium yesterday, former Cork County Board chairman Bob Ryan – who is the chairman of the stadium steering committee – revealed that the construction is on budget, estimated to cost just short of €80m.

With grants – from the Government and national and provincial GAA – and the board’s own funds covering about €64m, the sale of 2,000 premium seats at €6,500 each will generate €13m, and naming rights are also on the table.

“We have considered selling the rights,” Ryan said, “we’re exploring that possibility, very much so.

“That’s provided we get the right commercial offer.”

John Mullins, chairman of the stadium business committee, “We hope that the Páirc will begin its life debt-free, and there aren’t many stadiums that you can say that about.”

The new Páirc Uí Chaoimh is set to hold two concerts a year, while the sharing of facilities between the stadium and the adjoining all-weather training pitch is estimated to save the Cork board €6.5m.

Pairc Ui Chaoimh Grandstand Source: Pedersen Focus Ltd

18 June 18 the designated date for completion, and if Cork make it to the Munster football final against Kerry, the game will be played there on 3 July.

However, Cork are hopeful that the provincial hurling decider will also be on Leeside, regardless of who is competing.

“We have an application made to the Munster final for that,” Ryan said.

“We’re very hopeful that our colleagues in the province, in a very historic year, would allow the Munster hurling final to be played there.”

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On Tuesday, Páirc Uí Chaoimh was included among the stadiums for Ireland’s bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Cork expect that, if the bid is successful, the Páirc would be a ‘hub’ stadium for one of the pools, with four games expected.

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Denis Hurley

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