Dublin City Council to seek €20m funding for Dalymount Park

FAI will not contribute to redevelopment costs for proposed 10,000-seater stadium

 Dalymount Park in Phibsborough will be demolished and a new all-seater stadium will be built on the site. Photograph: Pat Murphy/Sportsfile

Dalymount Park in Phibsborough will be demolished and a new all-seater stadium will be built on the site. Photograph: Pat Murphy/Sportsfile

 

Dublin City Council says it will make a submission to the Government shortly for funding for a €20 million redevelopment of Dalymount Park.

The council, which bought the Phibsborough sports ground in 2015 from Bohemians football club for €3.8 million, will own and run the new 10,000-seater stadium. No funding for the project is expected to come from the Football Association of Ireland (FAI).

In November, the council acquired the lease on Tolka Park, the home of Shelbourne football club and both clubs are to become tenants at Dalymount. However, neither club will have naming rights which will remain with the council.

Pending the redevelopment of Dalymount, Shelbourne will continue to play out of Tolka Park. During the demolition and reconstruction project, Bohemians will also use the Drumcondra football ground. The council has yet to determine the future use of Tolka Park.

The council has been in discussions with the clubs and the FAI about their requirements, project manager Don Daly said.

Second Captians

“The accommodation brief is currently being finalised and the business case, which is required for the funding application, will be completed by early in the new year.”

The new facility would be a “municipal stadium from the whole city,” he said.

European model

“We own the stadium and we will run it. It will based on a European model where local authorities own and manage their stadiums. The FAI will have an advisory role, but they are not part-funding the project. We are hoping to get most of the funding from central Government.”

FAI chief executive John Delaney has said he hoped Dalymount would be completed or nearly completed by 2020. This timescale is, however, understood to be overly ambitious, with work not expected to begin until 2018 or 2019.

The Dalymount project involves the complete demolition of the stadium, which was first laid out more than 100 years ago and its replacement with an new all-seater stadium. The pitch will also be reorientated from its east-west alignment to a north-south alignment, to allow for better light and so that matches are less affected by sunsets.

The stadium is on a tight site, backing on to the 1960s Phibsborough shopping centre. The council is in talks with the new owners of the shopping centre, Mr Daly said, with a view to pursuing the concurrent development of the two sites to minimise disruption locally.

The shopping centre, which had been in the control of Nama, was bought last year for a sum reputed to be approximately €15 million by MM Capital, headed up by Derek Poppinga and Peter Leonard.

During the boom, Bohemians had planned to sell Dalymount and move to a green-field site close to Dublin Airport. It was expected at the time that the shopping centre and the sports grounds would be combined to create a new mixed-use “village centre” for Phibsborough.

But the plan collapsed when the economy crashed and the club got into severe financial difficulties, with the purchase by the council last year helping to clear substantial liabilities which had been amassed.

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