Limerick not battling with Cork for naming rights

Limerick secretary Mike O’Riordan doesn’t envisage the county will be in competition with Cork in the battle for GAA stadium naming rights.

Limerick not battling with Cork for naming rights

The Gaelic Grounds’ committee chairman Paul Foley yesterday told the Limerick Leader that they are at an exploratory stage of making the venue’s name available for corporate sponsorship.

Their Cork counterparts are also attempting to ink a similar deal for Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

It’s three years since Limerick first looked into selling the rights to the venue only for a touted 10-year deal not to be realised.

O’Riordan doesn’t see Limerick battling with Cork as they actively seek a backer for Páirc Uí Chaoimh, which could possibly wipe the remainder of the stadium’s debt.

“I wouldn’t think so,” he said. “In fairness to Cork, they have a fantastic, new stadium and they have a number of events already planned there for this year.

We’re coming from a different perspective so I don’t see us as being in competition.

“We discussed naming rights before and made enquiries but nothing materialised. We’re now revisiting it with a mind to getting something agreed.

"We have a company on board at the moment who are looking at costing etc.”

O’Riordan explained the initiative is part of a multi-faceted strategy to help revamp the Gaelic Grounds. A 10-year naming rights deal would likely be worth millions to Limerick, with the majority of the deal if not all of it being directed towards the stadium.

O’Riordan readily accepts the Mackey Stand will “possibly have to be replaced in the long term”.

For the time being, the county are getting the stadium ready for Limerick’s opening weekend in the Munster senior championships, the footballers’ clash with Clare on May 19 followed by the first round SHC clash against Tipperary the day after.

“The stadium has to wash its face and needs a lot of improvements and to meet that we require revenue,” remarked O’Riordan.

“It’s all positive at the moment. We’ll be putting in a couple of hundred new seats to replace ones in the Mackey Stand, revamping the media area as well as other facilities in the stand before May 19. We’re also looking at developing catering facilities.”

O’Riordan has spoken before about the Gaelic Grounds not being left out by the modern technological advances that other GAA stadia like Croke Park and Semple Stadium currently enjoy.

Prior to HawkEye also being installed at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, the Kilmallock man called on the GAA to bring the score detection technology to the Ennis Road venue and he maintains that view.

Several county boards have already sold the naming rights to the principal grounds, Offaly becoming the latest last year when O’Connor Park became associated with Bord na Mona.

Carlow (Netwatch Cullen Park), Cavan (Kingspan Breffni Park), Longford (Glennon Brothers Pearse Park), Mayo (Elverys MacHale Park), Westmeath (TEG Cusack Park), Wexford (Innovate Wexford Park) and Wicklow (Aughrim’s Joule Park) all have existing deals while Armagh previously sold the rights to the Athletic Grounds to Morgan Fuels for the 2011 and ’12 seasons.

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