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GAA Stadiums

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Replying To gunman:  "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."
Crazy thought. One road in one road out. Not a major population base either.

OGarmaile (Tyrone) - Posts: 224 - 20/01/2020 12:24:32    2261072

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Replying To gunman:  "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."
I've never felt safe going to a big Championship game in Ballybofey. The terraces are not very steep and the entrance/exits seems to be one way, everybody going the same way system. Your correct though whenever you manage to safely exit the area is filled with pubs/hotels.

sam1884 (UK) - Posts: 651 - 20/01/2020 12:42:36    2261075

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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."
Thats a fine list youve built up over the years, Im gonna have to have a long think about my own this evening

Hard to agree with what you said about most of them but I always remember Fitzgerald stadium as a dump but it has been over 10 years since ive been

Breezy (Limerick) - Posts: 1040 - 20/01/2020 13:00:01    2261077

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Replying To sam1884:  "I've never felt safe going to a big Championship game in Ballybofey. The terraces are not very steep and the entrance/exits seems to be one way, everybody going the same way system. Your correct though whenever you manage to safely exit the area is filled with pubs/hotels."
You must be a Tyrone fan if you never felt safe.ha only joking we always make the Tyrone fans welcome even big mouth Micky.

rorysboys (Donegal) - Posts: 812 - 20/01/2020 13:14:27    2261081

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Replying To Breezy:  "Thats a fine list youve built up over the years, Im gonna have to have a long think about my own this evening

Hard to agree with what you said about most of them but I always remember Fitzgerald stadium as a dump but it has been over 10 years since ive been"
I meant to say hard to disagree sorry

Breezy (Limerick) - Posts: 1040 - 20/01/2020 13:37:04    2261096

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dingle2: good analysis- was at most of those venues you mentioned plus a few you did not mention. Some pitches have very interesting histories like Killarney how it was initially developed and PT in Navan where the playing of GAA games was not allowed in the early 1900's.

browncows (Meath) - Posts: 2173 - 20/01/2020 13:38:52    2261097

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honestly,the biggest mistake gaa do is go with ultra modern stadia for every ground.
there is a number of things which make a stadium
1. atmosphere,a small ground full to the rafters,a la parnell park,etc,is fine for about 80% of gaa matches....but...
2. the very least gaa fans deserve is functioning toilets,warm water at sinks,soap,working hand dryers.i have written to wexford county board numerous times about this and go nowhere.
3. location,location,location.a stadium in the middle of a town,served by public transport,is a no brainer.i know from my work in a bar in wexford,the whole town is buzzing when there is a big match.it is a million times better than a ground located in the middle of nowhere,with nothing but cars driving there.this is a point the people of offaly often miss in my view,tullamore is served well with trains and buses which make it accessible.similar with thurles.
4. dont go overboard....pairc ui chaoimh is still an expensve waste in a bad location in my view.

the gaa has enough big stadiums,it needs to look at the county grounds and bring them up to standard.

my favourite stadiums (full) i have been to:
1. croke park
2. wexford park
3. nowlan park

my least favourites:
1. gaelic grounds,i will have to go back when it is full though as i imagine it would be electric.
2. aughrim.a quaint ground is sometimes a good experience,but not when the place is falling apart.has not improved since my first wexford football match there in the 70s
3. drogheda.

perfect10 (Wexford) - Posts: 3771 - 20/01/2020 20:59:11    2261207

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Replying To perfect10:  "honestly,the biggest mistake gaa do is go with ultra modern stadia for every ground.
there is a number of things which make a stadium
1. atmosphere,a small ground full to the rafters,a la parnell park,etc,is fine for about 80% of gaa matches....but...
2. the very least gaa fans deserve is functioning toilets,warm water at sinks,soap,working hand dryers.i have written to wexford county board numerous times about this and go nowhere.
3. location,location,location.a stadium in the middle of a town,served by public transport,is a no brainer.i know from my work in a bar in wexford,the whole town is buzzing when there is a big match.it is a million times better than a ground located in the middle of nowhere,with nothing but cars driving there.this is a point the people of offaly often miss in my view,tullamore is served well with trains and buses which make it accessible.similar with thurles.
4. dont go overboard....pairc ui chaoimh is still an expensve waste in a bad location in my view.

the gaa has enough big stadiums,it needs to look at the county grounds and bring them up to standard.

my favourite stadiums (full) i have been to:
1. croke park
2. wexford park
3. nowlan park

my least favourites:
1. gaelic grounds,i will have to go back when it is full though as i imagine it would be electric.
2. aughrim.a quaint ground is sometimes a good experience,but not when the place is falling apart.has not improved since my first wexford football match there in the 70s
3. drogheda."
Don't be too hard on Aughrim they build a very tidy new stand there just a couple of years ago

Richieq (Meath) - Posts: 3584 - 20/01/2020 21:18:04    2261215

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Replying To perfect10:  "honestly,the biggest mistake gaa do is go with ultra modern stadia for every ground.
there is a number of things which make a stadium
1. atmosphere,a small ground full to the rafters,a la parnell park,etc,is fine for about 80% of gaa matches....but...
2. the very least gaa fans deserve is functioning toilets,warm water at sinks,soap,working hand dryers.i have written to wexford county board numerous times about this and go nowhere.
3. location,location,location.a stadium in the middle of a town,served by public transport,is a no brainer.i know from my work in a bar in wexford,the whole town is buzzing when there is a big match.it is a million times better than a ground located in the middle of nowhere,with nothing but cars driving there.this is a point the people of offaly often miss in my view,tullamore is served well with trains and buses which make it accessible.similar with thurles.
4. dont go overboard....pairc ui chaoimh is still an expensve waste in a bad location in my view.

the gaa has enough big stadiums,it needs to look at the county grounds and bring them up to standard.

my favourite stadiums (full) i have been to:
1. croke park
2. wexford park
3. nowlan park

my least favourites:
1. gaelic grounds,i will have to go back when it is full though as i imagine it would be electric.
2. aughrim.a quaint ground is sometimes a good experience,but not when the place is falling apart.has not improved since my first wexford football match there in the 70s
3. drogheda."
Way to many GAA stadiums have terrible toilets. Wexford Park and Semple terraces stick out as particularly bad in my mind as having essentially a tiny outhouse round the back that is way too small for the capacity of the terrace. And that's speaking as an able bodied man but god it must be a nightmare anyone who needs to sit down to go

Breezy (Limerick) - Posts: 1040 - 20/01/2020 21:23:23    2261216

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Replying To yew_tree:  "Agree that Tuam is way easier to get in and out off...now it has a motorway too. Anyway the traffic situation is overplayed...after any big event you just need to be patient....issue I have with Salthill is lack of match day atmosphere around the area and the strong wind that blows in year round....I just about remember being in Tuam in 1999....what an atmosphere and buzz around the town before and after."
I remember it well.

It horsed rain all day and it had the atmosphere of a funeral. Took an age to get home. Mayo beating the All Ireland champions has probably given you rose tinted memory of that day.

tribescity (Galway) - Posts: 254 - 20/01/2020 21:31:42    2261218

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Replying To Mailman98:  "Pearce Stadium Galway is the worst located stadium in the country. The atmosphere is always awful because most people have been sitting in their cars in traffic for at least an hour before any half important game and they know they'll do the same after it. It's no coincidence that Galway footballers have a very bad championship record since moving there from the real home of Galway football in Tuam. The sooner Tuam is brought up to the required level the better."
Agreed. the GAA need to knock Pearse stadium, build a load of apartments, sell them off, and use the proceeds to build/develop 2 fine 15k-20k capacity stadiums in Tuam and Athenry for the footballers and hurlers. Would be a superb stroke but I bet you anything it wont be done as nobody has the bottle.

clare_sparrow (Galway) - Posts: 292 - 21/01/2020 08:24:06    2261250

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Replying To clare_sparrow:  "Agreed. the GAA need to knock Pearse stadium, build a load of apartments, sell them off, and use the proceeds to build/develop 2 fine 15k-20k capacity stadiums in Tuam and Athenry for the footballers and hurlers. Would be a superb stroke but I bet you anything it wont be done as nobody has the bottle."
2 county stadiums is nonsense these days. Thers alot more cost than just the build to think of

Breezy (Limerick) - Posts: 1040 - 21/01/2020 12:19:55    2261293

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Replying To Breezy:  "2 county stadiums is nonsense these days. Thers alot more cost than just the build to think of"
Yep, and Athenry is too small to support an intercounty stadium.

cavanman47 (Cavan) - Posts: 3994 - 21/01/2020 13:16:19    2261308

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Replying To clare_sparrow:  "Agreed. the GAA need to knock Pearse stadium, build a load of apartments, sell them off, and use the proceeds to build/develop 2 fine 15k-20k capacity stadiums in Tuam and Athenry for the footballers and hurlers. Would be a superb stroke but I bet you anything it wont be done as nobody has the bottle."
Building two stadiums would be a huge waste when you could just build one and use any surplus money to aid player development with hiring coach development officers etc

KillingFields (Limerick) - Posts: 1385 - 21/01/2020 16:52:16    2261372

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Replying To KillingFields:  "Building two stadiums would be a huge waste when you could just build one and use any surplus money to aid player development with hiring coach development officers etc"
Aye. .

It's amazing the money you have left to spend on development when you aren't expected to maintain the stadium you play all your home games in.

cavanman47 (Cavan) - Posts: 3994 - 22/01/2020 09:38:52    2261494

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Replying To Breezy:  "Thats a fine list youve built up over the years, Im gonna have to have a long think about my own this evening

Hard to agree with what you said about most of them but I always remember Fitzgerald stadium as a dump but it has been over 10 years since ive been"
Very impressive list.

To me, going to a game should be an experience and the venue is a major part of it. It should make you want to go back again and again. A good day out for me (now that I have a gaggle of kids) would be ease of getting to the game and getting away, good seats with a clear view and some leg room (anyone remember the sharp seats in Cork that cut the knees off you), ability to get some food at half time and be able to go to the toilet and have a dry hands when finished.... As someone mentioned above, the days of eating melted mars bars and watching a game behind a post should be long gone.

Termon (Tyrone) - Posts: 58 - 22/01/2020 10:11:59    2261502

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I believe one area where our stadiums are a let down is the back of house facilities. I understand that during the recent Rugby World Cup bid, a major fault was the very poor TV and reporting areas, with limited scope for upgrade to modern standards!

Termon (Tyrone) - Posts: 58 - 22/01/2020 10:15:27    2261506

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Replying To Termon:  "I believe one area where our stadiums are a let down is the back of house facilities. I understand that during the recent Rugby World Cup bid, a major fault was the very poor TV and reporting areas, with limited scope for upgrade to modern standards!"
I always thought that bid was a bit of a joke. The kind of stadia that international sports want for big tournaments are way beyond the average GAA stadium and to be honest im happy enough with that for the most part as what they are after is all seater and full of corporate facilities and vip stuff that will mean nothing to the average fan.

Also these tounaments love to show off all the new things that will be built for them and a refurb of an old terrace in Killarney or where ever wont cut it with them and add that to the lack of big cities and 5* hotels for the sponsers. Its fine for FIFA or the olympics but I do think rugby are getting a bit too big for their boots as the Soccer world cup level criteria they are setting leaves them with only 6/7 viable options for host for the forseeable future

Breezy (Limerick) - Posts: 1040 - 22/01/2020 14:49:17    2261572

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What's the story with the Walsh Park redevelopment ? Looks like nothing has been done since last year

Breezy (Limerick) - Posts: 1040 - 26/01/2020 22:53:34    2262720

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Replying To Breezy:  "What's the story with the Walsh Park redevelopment ? Looks like nothing has been done since last year"
forgot to put it in my list of awful grounds above.it would be an insult to a bulldozer to pull that place down!

perfect10 (Wexford) - Posts: 3771 - 27/01/2020 21:11:53    2263036

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