Páirc revamp to generate €12m on big-game days

The €67m redevelopment of Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork will create over 400 construction jobs and boost the economy by millions, it was confirmed last night.

Planning is due to be lodged in October, and once the stadium redevelopment is completed by 2015, it is expected to contribute €12m to the local economy on big-game days.

The details emerged last night as Cork county board officials and engineers overseeing the massive construction project briefed delegates on the scheme. They were told that pending the outcome of the planning process, it is hoped that building work will begin late next year and be completed in 2015.

The project will create about 400 direct and indirect construction jobs.

Both stands will be redeveloped and roofed. The revamped stadium will have a games capacity of 45,000.

It will also have new dressing rooms, warm-up areas, medical facilities, restaurants, meeting and conference rooms, a press room, a museum, and extra turnstiles.

The existing stadium ‘tunnels’ will be eliminated and new access and exit points for spectators will be built.

A proposed centre of excellence will have an all-weather pitch with a 1,000-capacity public viewing area, a gym, dressing rooms, and video and performance assessment facilities.

The redevelopment will be financed from several sources including the GAA, commercial revenue, and ticket sales, the meeting was told.

County board chairman Bob Ryan said Páirc Uí Chaoimh cannot remain as it is.

“If we are serious about showcasing our games, attracting spectators, encouraging players, and sustaining and enhancing the contribution of the GAA to the sporting community life of Cork, then this project needs to proceed,” he said.

County board secretary Frank Murphy said: “The primary purpose of the development is to restore Páirc Uí Chaoimh as one of the premier sports stadiums in the country and will provide a development worthy of the city and the largest county.”

The county board and the stadium design consultants are still in talks with Cork City Council and its Dutch consultants who are drawing up a masterplan for the proposed 100-acre Marina Park which will wrap around the stadium.

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