Páirc Uí Chaoimh’s pitch problems may prevent the venue from hosting concerts next year and put it out of the running for an International Rules game later this season.
Although Rod Stewart is set to play at the stadium on May 25, two weeks before Cork face Waterford in their Munster senior hurling championship, work necessary to improve the turf could impact on gigs being staged there in 2020.
In Monday’s statement, the GAA revealed a preliminary examination of the pitch suggests a complete relaying will be required later this year.
In turn, there is a possibility experts will recommend a new surface not be impacted by the footfall that comes with an outdoor event just months after being put down.
With news on the future of the International Rules expected in the coming weeks and the GAA due to stage at least one game in Ireland, Páirc Uí Chaoimh had been touted as the venue but may not now be considered.
Any opportunity lost by Cork GAA to use Páirc Uí Chaoimh to repay its significant reconstruction debt overrun will be keenly felt. On the basis of Ed Sheeran’s three nights at the stadium last May, Cork GAA makes approximately €370,000 per concert.
Meanwhile, Munster Council will be in talks with Cork in the coming weeks about the suitability of the Páirc Uí Chaoimh surface for this summer’s provincial championship games. However, they are not considering the venue will be ruled out as a result of the “unacceptable” state it is in at present.
“There were similar issues last year and the pitch was in great condition for the Munster championship,” said Munster GAA chief executive Kieran Leddy.
Páirc Uí Chaoimh is set to stage Cork’s Munster SHC opener against Tipperary on May 12 and the round-three clash with Waterford. Both games are likely to be televised live and will be preceded by minor championship matches. Should Cork and Tipperary finish top of the table and thus qualify for the June 30 final, it is expected Cork will have home advantage.
Cork’s senior footballers are set to face the winners of Limerick and Tipperary in a Munster semi-final in Páirc Uí Chaoimh on June 1 and are owed a home final against Kerry should both teams reach the June 22 decider.
The U20 hurlers face Limerick at the Cork venue on July 3, while the U20 footballers are also due a home tie in a provincial semi-final on July 11, should Waterford beat Clare.