RWC 2023: The stadiums behind Ireland’s bid

Eight GAA grounds join four rugby stadiums as potential venues for 2023 tournament

 

Croke Park

The 82,300 capacity stadium is the largest in Ireland, and was the home of the Ireland rugby team during the transition from Lansdowne Road to the Aviva stadium. It is the third largest stadium in Europe.

Aviva Stadium

The home of the Ireland rugby team and formally Lansdowne Road, it has a capacity of 51,700 and was completed and open for play in May 2010. The Irish team are likely to play most of their pool matches – they may travel to a country venue for one game – here.

Thomond Park

The home of Munster rugby, the capacity of the stadium is 25,630 following its large-scale redevelopment in 2008. It hosted a World Cup match between Australia and the USA in the 1999 World Cup. Ireland has played five internationals there dating back to 1898.

Kingspan Stadium

Formerly Ravenhill, Ulster rugby’s Belfast citadel first opened in 1923 it has hosted 18 international matches including World Cup pool matches in 1991 and 1999 and Ireland’s Grand Slam winning game against Wales in 1948. The new stand on the Mount Merrion side of the ground was opened in 1999 and was rest of the refurbishment was completed from 2012-2014. It has a capacity of 18,196.

Second Captains

Casement Park

The proposed redevelopment to a 40,000 capacity stadium was expected to be completed this year but has been hit by planning issues. In December 2014 the granting of planning permission for the redevelopment was ruled unlawful. On April 28th, 2016 the team behind the Casement Park redevelopment proposals launched a consultation process and new plans for a 34,500 venue were unveiled in October.

Pearse Stadium

Opened in 1957 and renovated in 2002 the home of Galway hurling and football has a capacity of reduced 26,197, although it has accommodated 34,000 people in the past. It has hosted International Rules matches between Ireland and Australia.

Páirc Uí Chaoimh

Cork’s football and hurling mecca is currently being redeveloped at an estimated cost of €60 million and when completed will have a 45,770 capacity. Included amongst the new facilities new player and referee changing rooms, corporate boxes, medical rooms, a gym and a restaurant, and a museum.

Fitzgerald Stadium

Arguably the most picturesque stadium in the country, the Kerry GAA venue was opened in 1936, renovated in 2009, and has a capacity of 43, 180 with 9,000 seated. There is a proposal to increase the capacity to 50,000.

RDS

Leinster rugby’s ground will undergo a redevelopment that will increase the capacity to from 18,677 to 21,000 at a cost of €26 million to include a significant upgrade and the introduction of corporate facilities.

McHale Park

Mayo GAA’s country ground has a capacity of 38,000. In 2008, a new 10,000-seater stand was constructed. The aim was to raise the seated capacity of the stadium to 42,000, making the stadium the largest all-seater venue in Ireland, outside of Dublin. The €16 million redevelopment works included improved facilities for spectators, a museum, underground training areas, and County Board offices.

Celtic Park

The county ground for Derry GAA has a 17,000 capacity. Following the launch of the ‘Derry 2023 campaign, Derry City and Strabane District Councillors voted unanimously in March to push for the city’s inclusion in the Irish bid.

Nowlan Park

The iconic home of Kilkenny hurling has a capacity of 26,000 with 18,000 seated. A development of the stadium was completed in May of this year.

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