Lansdowne to be renamed Aviva Stadium
When the redeveloped Lansdowne Road opens for business next year the 50,000-seater stadium will be known as Aviva Stadium after the British insurance giant signed a 10-year deal for the naming rights today.
Exact details of today’s deal were undisclosed but the figure is believed to be in the region of €44 million for 10 years with the option of a further five years. The deal also serves as investment support to both the IRFU and FAI for their grassroots programmes.
The redeveloped all-seater stadium is due for completion by April of next year with the first match to be staged at the venue later that summer after the pitch has had time to bed in.
The IRFU have already confirmed the opening game will be a rugby match. The FAI are believed to be lining up Argentina for the first soccer match at the stadium and details of this will be confirmed in the coming weeks. There is also the possibilty of staging a couple of League of Ireland matches at the Dublin 4 venue before the visit of Argentina.
The actual opening of the stadium will be a non-sporting event and part of Aviva's deal will see the company receive options on premium seats plus access to 50 corporate box seats.
Given the current economic climate, IRFU chief executive Phillip Browne was today keen to talk up the revenue the new stadium will generate, not just for both sporting organisations but for the economy as a whole.
“We believe that in the difficult economic conditions we are now going through, Aviva Stadium will be of huge benefit to the economy as a whole,” said Browne, who also acts as chairman of the Landsowne Road Stadium Development Committee (LRSDC).
“Previous research shows that the weekend of an Ireland v England rugby international has an economic impact of up to €90 million on the local economy.
“In any given year Aviva Stadium will host around ten major international sporting occasions not to mention concerts and events such as the Uefa Europa League Final (formerly known as the Uefa Cup) which the FAI has already secured or a future Heineken Cup Final which we will undoubtedly get.
“Even taking the most conservative view I do not think it would be exaggerating to say that Aviva Stadium could have an impact of some €250 million on the local economy each year,” added Browne.
FAI chief executive John Delaney also welcomed today’s news and is convinced Uefa delegates were impressed with what they saw before awarding the venue the 2011 Europa League final.
“The recent announcement that the 2011 Uefa Europa League Final would be played at the Aviva Stadium is a fantastic start for the partnership,” said Delaney.
“It really is a tremendous endorsement of just what is being achieved. I think it is fair to say that everyone in Uefa could see the potential of what we are developing.
"One has only to think of some of the other stadia that were in line for the final to see just how world-class the facility we are building is going to be.”