National Forum

GAA Stadiums

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Replying To Gleebo:  "Isn't Healy Park one of the newer stadiums? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I was always under the impression that Healy Park was one of the better equipped stadiums on the island (have not been lucky enough to visit yet).

But to address your question, I'm not saying that I expect all GAA stadia to be upgraded. However, I do think that prices are a little bit steep, generally speaking, given what is on offer. For instance, is it too much to expect modern toilet facilities at county grounds, given the amount of public money that the GAA receives, and what it charges to view the games?

If you're going to charge prices similar to professional sports, then people are going to make the comparisons."
Healy Park is grand. By no means one of the worst.

OGarmaile (Tyrone) - Posts: 224 - 17/01/2020 15:31:05    2260475

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Replying To galwayford:  "Yes some stadia need upgrades. Connacht rugby is getting 20 million for the Sportsgrounds upgrade, but no GAA matches to be played there."
It might have something to do with the size of the pitch, but maybe a GAA pitch might fit there if you get rid of the dog track, which would be too much work

DuhallowRed (Cork) - Posts: 138 - 17/01/2020 17:57:00    2260502

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McGovern Park in London is nice little stadium. Great outlet for the Irish diaspora in London.

Hawkeye9212 (Donegal) - Posts: 266 - 17/01/2020 18:01:47    2260505

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Hard not to mention casement in Belfast. I'm a down man but casement was special even to me never mind the people of Antrim. I would say 90% of clubs in Ulster would back the casement project but that's just the problem in my opinion. It's an Ulster stadium, I wouldnt like to think the gaa would see thurles or wexford park for example go to the state that casement is in.

Antrimroad (Down) - Posts: 80 - 18/01/2020 00:32:18    2260550

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Replying To Antrimroad:  "Hard not to mention casement in Belfast. I'm a down man but casement was special even to me never mind the people of Antrim. I would say 90% of clubs in Ulster would back the casement project but that's just the problem in my opinion. It's an Ulster stadium, I wouldnt like to think the gaa would see thurles or wexford park for example go to the state that casement is in."
Casement Park's problems of redevelopment are not down to the GAA. I quote from Wikipedia:

Plans to redevelop Casement Park were announced in 2009, though it was not until 2011 that the Northern Ireland Executive announced that it had granted £138m for various stadium redevelopment projects throughout Northern Ireland, of which Ulster GAA would receive £61.4m to be used to redevelop Casement Park into a 40,000 all-seated stadium. A further £15 million was proposed from the Central Council of the Gaelic Athletic Association. If the plans had been approved, the venue would become the largest stadium in Ulster. In early 2012 it was announced that the redevelopment work would start at the end of 2013 with a view to having the new stadium open by September 2015. It was expected that, after its completion, Ulster GAA would move its headquarters from St Tiernach's Park in Clones to the redeveloped Casement Park.

Local residents of West Belfast objected to the proposal and in September 2013 the Mooreland and Owenvarragh Residents Association (MORA) issued a formal petition and letter of objection to the Northern Ireland Department of Environment, describing the new stadium plans "a monstrosity" and too expansive. The residents filed a lawsuit as the date for the commencement of construction continued to be delayed. In December 2014 the High Court ruled a ministerial decision granting planning approval for the redevelopment of the stadium was unlawful, setting the proposal back further. Ulster GAA responded with disappointment to the decision, though vowed to re-submit an improved design. They did so in October 2016, unveiling a smaller scale project with a reduced capacity of 34,500. This design was unable to achieve planning approval permission, as Northern Ireland's power-sharing government was dissolved in March 2017. They delay saw the anticipated total cost of the project blow out to approximately £110 million.

Cockney_Cat (UK) - Posts: 1059 - 18/01/2020 11:17:31    2260570

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Replying To Cockney_Cat:  "Casement Park's problems of redevelopment are not down to the GAA. I quote from Wikipedia:

Plans to redevelop Casement Park were announced in 2009, though it was not until 2011 that the Northern Ireland Executive announced that it had granted £138m for various stadium redevelopment projects throughout Northern Ireland, of which Ulster GAA would receive £61.4m to be used to redevelop Casement Park into a 40,000 all-seated stadium. A further £15 million was proposed from the Central Council of the Gaelic Athletic Association. If the plans had been approved, the venue would become the largest stadium in Ulster. In early 2012 it was announced that the redevelopment work would start at the end of 2013 with a view to having the new stadium open by September 2015. It was expected that, after its completion, Ulster GAA would move its headquarters from St Tiernach's Park in Clones to the redeveloped Casement Park.

Local residents of West Belfast objected to the proposal and in September 2013 the Mooreland and Owenvarragh Residents Association (MORA) issued a formal petition and letter of objection to the Northern Ireland Department of Environment, describing the new stadium plans "a monstrosity" and too expansive. The residents filed a lawsuit as the date for the commencement of construction continued to be delayed. In December 2014 the High Court ruled a ministerial decision granting planning approval for the redevelopment of the stadium was unlawful, setting the proposal back further. Ulster GAA responded with disappointment to the decision, though vowed to re-submit an improved design. They did so in October 2016, unveiling a smaller scale project with a reduced capacity of 34,500. This design was unable to achieve planning approval permission, as Northern Ireland's power-sharing government was dissolved in March 2017. They delay saw the anticipated total cost of the project blow out to approximately £110 million."
The old stadium was closed despite the new one not having planning permission, locals objected and the Stormont collapsed but I suppose its easier blame the Southerners.

And when the stadium is finally done Ulster will have one of the best stadiums in the country but sure im sure some other reason will be found to moan about

Breezy (Limerick) - Posts: 1040 - 18/01/2020 14:36:23    2260590

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Replying To DuhallowRed:  "It might have something to do with the size of the pitch, but maybe a GAA pitch might fit there if you get rid of the dog track, which would be too much work"
Aye - a full size GAA pitch is a big place. About 20m wider and 20m longer than a rugby pitch. 35m longer than a soccer pitch.

lionofludesch (Down) - Posts: 369 - 18/01/2020 17:42:28    2260629

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Replying To galwayford:  "Yes some stadia need upgrades. Connacht rugby is getting 20 million for the Sportsgrounds upgrade, but no GAA matches to be played there."
Pitch is too short in the Sportsground for GAA. Should be a lovely little stadium when it's done. Capacity is about right for Connacht too..12,000. I think it will be a high quality build.
Ah Salthill is a disaster. It's mostly down to location and wind..The wind is straight in off the Atlantic.,unsuitable for Gaelic and especially hurling.
Cork is a fantastic Stadium. Some viewing from all sides. The large stand is great and the terraces are top notch. Lots more sports are bringing back the terraces. The Gaa need to keep them and I think they will.
Some of the American stadiums Iv been in ..unbelievable. we wont ever match them but we can do the basics well.

bloodyban (Limerick) - Posts: 1285 - 18/01/2020 18:48:20    2260639

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Replying To bloodyban:  "Pitch is too short in the Sportsground for GAA. Should be a lovely little stadium when it's done. Capacity is about right for Connacht too..12,000. I think it will be a high quality build.
Ah Salthill is a disaster. It's mostly down to location and wind..The wind is straight in off the Atlantic.,unsuitable for Gaelic and especially hurling.
Cork is a fantastic Stadium. Some viewing from all sides. The large stand is great and the terraces are top notch. Lots more sports are bringing back the terraces. The Gaa need to keep them and I think they will.
Some of the American stadiums Iv been in ..unbelievable. we wont ever match them but we can do the basics well."
Pearse definitely should have been built on the other side of Galway city.

Still haven't been to the new PUC what are the facilities like under the terraces?

Also if Casement ever gets built do people think things like the museum and the fancy changeable roof light will be included or ditched when the work actually starts

Breezy (Limerick) - Posts: 1040 - 18/01/2020 23:15:14    2260691

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Drogheda is definitely the worse county ground in the country. It's that bad even Louth can't win in it. In the last 12 matches in Drogheda they have only won once, drawn once and lost ten times. Apart from Croke Park which I love, Semple Stadium is my favourite ground.

OLLIE (Louth) - Posts: 12224 - 19/01/2020 15:16:38    2260765

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Replying To OLLIE:  "Drogheda is definitely the worse county ground in the country. It's that bad even Louth can't win in it. In the last 12 matches in Drogheda they have only won once, drawn once and lost ten times. Apart from Croke Park which I love, Semple Stadium is my favourite ground."
Never been to Drogheda but it looks pretty sparse in the pictures. But at least ye are planning to do something about it.

Also looking at Leitrim it looks like the roof on the main stand wouldn't actually give any cover from rain coming from almost any angle

Breezy (Limerick) - Posts: 1040 - 19/01/2020 15:47:29    2260776

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Replying To Breezy:  "Never been to Drogheda but it looks pretty sparse in the pictures. But at least ye are planning to do something about it.

Also looking at Leitrim it looks like the roof on the main stand wouldn't actually give any cover from rain coming from almost any angle"
Breezy they have been planning to do something with the Louth stadium for the past twenty years so I won't be holding my breath just yet.

OLLIE (Louth) - Posts: 12224 - 19/01/2020 16:23:06    2260785

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Replying To Adler:  "Does anyone feel that Croker needs a lick of paint?

I mean it's a cracking place to look at in terms of the pitch and the atmosphere on big days but I always felt the concourse area was very bleak and boring with the exposed concrete etc... And yes I understand it's not the end of the world, and I don't expect the place to perfect, just saying.

I was at NBA game in a new-ish stadium last year and the whole place was incredible. Just walking in was surreal. I honestly think the GAA could do a little better. And they will eventually, it's just a matter of time before they do something to upgrade it."
I would agree with on the amount of exposed concrete makes for a very bleak industrial look. Even worse when half empty

arock (Dublin) - Posts: 4380 - 19/01/2020 17:24:27    2260805

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It is time to build covered stadiums with retractable roofs and (no greater capacity that 20,000) to off set the effect of weather conditions. Wind above a certain velocity and rain closed. Nice sunny day roof open. Would also be more suitable for concerts etc. to raise revenue. Shared with other organizations and could be replaced every 20 years. I am not sure it makes sense to be building places like Croke Park and Pairc Ui Cork to use a few times year and are empty for the rest with astronomical maintenance costs. Tax payers deserve better use of their money getting put into these projects.

Canuck (Waterford) - Posts: 915 - 19/01/2020 18:12:31    2260833

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Replying To Canuck:  "It is time to build covered stadiums with retractable roofs and (no greater capacity that 20,000) to off set the effect of weather conditions. Wind above a certain velocity and rain closed. Nice sunny day roof open. Would also be more suitable for concerts etc. to raise revenue. Shared with other organizations and could be replaced every 20 years. I am not sure it makes sense to be building places like Croke Park and Pairc Ui Cork to use a few times year and are empty for the rest with astronomical maintenance costs. Tax payers deserve better use of their money getting put into these projects."
I imagine nothing would lead to astronomical maintenance costs more than big mechanical retractable roofs but at least 1 stadium round the Midlands where it could be used as an option would be cool

Breezy (Limerick) - Posts: 1040 - 19/01/2020 19:57:22    2260889

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I feel we have lagged behind with our grounds. We use three grounds in the national league. Ballybofey which is our main ground is fine but still a fair bit behind Castlebar, Armagh and a lot of other counties. O donnell park In Letterkenny is our second . Fantastic stand and pitch but capacity too small and we hardly ever won there. With Galway coming this year it's going to hard to break that hoodoo but I really like this ground. Ballyshannon is our 3 rd ground it's a bit outdated and a lot of the followers in north donegal won't travel to it , I always go because it's a club I really admire .

rorysboys (Donegal) - Posts: 812 - 19/01/2020 20:15:55    2260905

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Replying To Cockney_Cat:  "Casement Park's problems of redevelopment are not down to the GAA. I quote from Wikipedia:

Plans to redevelop Casement Park were announced in 2009, though it was not until 2011 that the Northern Ireland Executive announced that it had granted £138m for various stadium redevelopment projects throughout Northern Ireland, of which Ulster GAA would receive £61.4m to be used to redevelop Casement Park into a 40,000 all-seated stadium. A further £15 million was proposed from the Central Council of the Gaelic Athletic Association. If the plans had been approved, the venue would become the largest stadium in Ulster. In early 2012 it was announced that the redevelopment work would start at the end of 2013 with a view to having the new stadium open by September 2015. It was expected that, after its completion, Ulster GAA would move its headquarters from St Tiernach's Park in Clones to the redeveloped Casement Park.

Local residents of West Belfast objected to the proposal and in September 2013 the Mooreland and Owenvarragh Residents Association (MORA) issued a formal petition and letter of objection to the Northern Ireland Department of Environment, describing the new stadium plans "a monstrosity" and too expansive. The residents filed a lawsuit as the date for the commencement of construction continued to be delayed. In December 2014 the High Court ruled a ministerial decision granting planning approval for the redevelopment of the stadium was unlawful, setting the proposal back further. Ulster GAA responded with disappointment to the decision, though vowed to re-submit an improved design. They did so in October 2016, unveiling a smaller scale project with a reduced capacity of 34,500. This design was unable to achieve planning approval permission, as Northern Ireland's power-sharing government was dissolved in March 2017. They delay saw the anticipated total cost of the project blow out to approximately £110 million."
Casement should never have been closed until all the i's were dotted and t's crossed, the fact that it was close and mid lies in ruins is a GAA problem as it shook down not have been closed and Antrim could be playing there yet and not in purgatory as they are now.

Richieq (Meath) - Posts: 3584 - 19/01/2020 20:44:07    2260918

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I've been to all these:
1. Croke Park - fine venue, city centre & good facilities
2. Fitzgerald Stadium Killarney - excellent venue, town centre, fabulous terrace, great covered stand with excellent disabled facilities.
3. Semple Stadium Thurles - dated but often great games & good atmosphere
4. Tuam - very dated.
5. Salthill - nice stadium but impossible location.
6. Pairc Uí Chaoimh - great stadium but poor pitch and location very hard to access.
7. Gaelic Grounds Limerick - great location but poor stadium to watch game unless full and on terrace.
8. Breffni Park - Not bad.
9. O'Connor Park Tullamore - greatly improved over the years. Central also.
10. O'Moore Park Portlaoise - very nice venue and love the terrace.
11. Healy Park Omagh - compact and comfortable
12. Athletic Grounds Armagh - as per Healy Park.
13. McHale Park - good venue in good weather.
14. Austin Stack Park - great venue for 8,000 attendance under lights.
15. Cusack Park Ennis - great location but poor viewing facilities. Shed over terrace and covered stand a barn (small barn at that)
16. Pairc Tailteann Navan - homely and family friendly but needs an upgrade.
17. Newbridge - limited, very limited
18. Longford - lop sided.
19. Derry - limited but homely and lovely site & historic location.
20. Hyde Park Roscommon - dated & upgrade needed.
21. Carrick On Shannon - super small venue.
22. Cusack Park Westmeath - poor.
23. Waterford - not great & upgrade needed

Not been to Nolan Park, Casement Park, Wexford Park, Clones, Parnell Park, Dr. Cullen Park or Páirc Uí Rinn.

Thomond Park a great venue but was not impressed with Aviva on my few visits there. RDS okish but Arena La Defense in Paris (Racing 92 Home) is stadium of the future. Well worth a visit.

Also been to White Hart lane, Cardiff, Murrayfield and Twickenham as well as Parc De Princes, Feynoord, Geneva, Toulouse, San Sebastian, Perpignon, Castres, Bourgoin, Ricoh, Cleremont, Biarritz, Palermo, Gloucester and several Welch Rugby grounds. Croke Park as good as if not better than most but Racing 92's grounds something else.

In fairness to the GAA as an amateur organisation it can hold it's head high with the stadia and facilities it has developed.

dingle2 (Kerry) - Posts: 239 - 20/01/2020 02:28:31    2260983

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Replying To dingle2:  "I've been to all these:
1. Croke Park - fine venue, city centre & good facilities
2. Fitzgerald Stadium Killarney - excellent venue, town centre, fabulous terrace, great covered stand with excellent disabled facilities.
3. Semple Stadium Thurles - dated but often great games & good atmosphere
4. Tuam - very dated.
5. Salthill - nice stadium but impossible location.
6. Pairc Uí Chaoimh - great stadium but poor pitch and location very hard to access.
7. Gaelic Grounds Limerick - great location but poor stadium to watch game unless full and on terrace.
8. Breffni Park - Not bad.
9. O'Connor Park Tullamore - greatly improved over the years. Central also.
10. O'Moore Park Portlaoise - very nice venue and love the terrace.
11. Healy Park Omagh - compact and comfortable
12. Athletic Grounds Armagh - as per Healy Park.
13. McHale Park - good venue in good weather.
14. Austin Stack Park - great venue for 8,000 attendance under lights.
15. Cusack Park Ennis - great location but poor viewing facilities. Shed over terrace and covered stand a barn (small barn at that)
16. Pairc Tailteann Navan - homely and family friendly but needs an upgrade.
17. Newbridge - limited, very limited
18. Longford - lop sided.
19. Derry - limited but homely and lovely site & historic location.
20. Hyde Park Roscommon - dated & upgrade needed.
21. Carrick On Shannon - super small venue.
22. Cusack Park Westmeath - poor.
23. Waterford - not great & upgrade needed

Not been to Nolan Park, Casement Park, Wexford Park, Clones, Parnell Park, Dr. Cullen Park or Páirc Uí Rinn.

Thomond Park a great venue but was not impressed with Aviva on my few visits there. RDS okish but Arena La Defense in Paris (Racing 92 Home) is stadium of the future. Well worth a visit.

Also been to White Hart lane, Cardiff, Murrayfield and Twickenham as well as Parc De Princes, Feynoord, Geneva, Toulouse, San Sebastian, Perpignon, Castres, Bourgoin, Ricoh, Cleremont, Biarritz, Palermo, Gloucester and several Welch Rugby grounds. Croke Park as good as if not better than most but Racing 92's grounds something else.

In fairness to the GAA as an amateur organisation it can hold it's head high with the stadia and facilities it has developed."
Hard to have issue with anything you say, like others I rate Nowlan Park as a very good ground for spectators. It would or could be a lot better with few million to increase capacity but I love going there. Nice compact ground, huge potential. O More park is also a lovely ground for spectators, terrace is excellent. Yeah there are very good grounds, but as you point out some nightmare one's.

arock (Dublin) - Posts: 4380 - 20/01/2020 10:08:25    2261017

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Our own ground in Ballybofey has to be the best located ground in the country.It is right in the centre of the town with Hotels and pubs just outside the gate.

gunman (Donegal) - Posts: 663 - 20/01/2020 11:24:55    2261038

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