Leinster Rugby signs 25-year deal with RDS

New contract comes ahead of stadium redevelopment plans and mark final major decisions for long-time CEO Mick Dawson

The RDS has signed a new 25-year agreement with Leinster Rugby that will see the Ballsbridge venue remain the team’s home ground out to 2047.

Leinster Rugby chief executive Mick Dawson said the deal provided clarity for both sides well into the future.

“It’s a hugely exciting time on and off the pitch and I am confident that in early 2023, we will be able to provide a further update, together with the RDS, on the next stage of our plans for the RDS Arena,” he said.

“The decision to move to the RDS Arena in 2007 is one of the best decisions Leinster Rugby ever made,” he added.


“It’s not just about the ground though, as the RDS, as an organisation, have been a brilliant partner over the last 15 years and I am delighted that we have agreed new terms that provides clarity and certainty for Leinster Rugby supporters and for the club for the years ahead.”

The agreement – along with the promised stadium redevelopment plans early next year – are the final major decisions of Mr Dawson’s tenure before he steps down at the end of the current season after 22 years in the role. Shane Nolan, a managing director at Google for new business sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, has been appointed to succeed him.

Leinster first played at the RDS in 2005 before signing a 15-year lease in 2007 to make it their home ground.

Speaking about the new partnership, RDS chief executive Geraldine Ruane said: “Our relationship with Leinster Rugby really is a true partnership which has grown from strength to strength over the last 15 years and it is great that today we are announcing a further deepening of our partnership for the next 25 years.”

“Leinster Rugby fans have truly embraced the RDS as their home and we are always looking at ways to enhance the fans’ experience.

“I would like to thank Mick Dawson, and all the team in Leinster Rugby who have helped to make this agreement happen and I would also like to wish Mick all the very best in his retirement as chief executive of Leinster Rugby. He leaves with an outstanding legacy.”

Dominic Coyle

Dominic Coyle

Dominic Coyle is Deputy Business Editor of The Irish Times