Call to `open' Croke Park
The GAA should turn Croke Park into a money-making operation and throw it open to other sports. That is the suggestion Kilkenny County Board secretary Pat Dunphy will put to delegates when he delivers his annual report to convention on Sunday.
"Croke Park will be among the finest stadia in Europe when the current development is completed" Dunphy said. "However, when the development is finished, it is then the worry will start. I feel Croke Park will have to be run as a business and will have to pay for itself.
"To that end, the association will have to consider very seriously the possibility of allowing other sports to use our facilities and to charge them the going rate for it."
Dunphy said Croke Park cannot be allowed to stand idle for six months of the year when it could be generating revenue. "Otherwise, clubs could be drained of much needed funds. Grants might not be as freely available to clubs and county boards if Croke Park becomes a huge draw on resources."
He raises the possibility that clubs might end up being levied to maintain what would be a super stadium when Croke Park is fully developed.
"It is something that should be given serious consideration" Dunphy argues. "If the correct decisions are not made now, we could live to regret it later."
He praises the GAA for its courage and foresight in developing Croke Park, but he sees it as an opportunity for the association rather than something that might become a burden in the long-term.