The Cork County Board will take a sizeable rental income hit after it was yesterday confirmed Páirc Uí Chaoimh would not be ready in time for the senior footballers’ Munster final clash with Kerry on July 2.
Being unable to host the game, as well as the hurling final between Clare and next Sunday’s winners of Cork and Waterford, is expected to see them lose out on up to €200,000, which excludes sundries such as hospitality, food and drink, as well as the obvious economic boost the fixtures would have provided to the local area.
The aborted launch is also bad news for those who had purchased premium tickets, assuming they would begin to see value from it from early next month.
As noted by the board yesterday, it’s a source of frustration, considering Cork’s footballers won through to a final against Kerry, who had owed them two home games, while Páirc Uí Chaoimh had been expected to stage the hurling decider, regardless of who wins in Thurles in five days.
It is now hoped the stadium will open by hosting the All-Ireland senior hurling quarter-finals on July 23.
That double-header has been held in Semple Stadium the last six years, but Tipperary must come through the backdoor if they are to reach the All-Ireland series, while Croke Park will be out of commission due to U2 playing there on July 22.
Speaking previously, GAA director general Páraic Duffy mentioned the possibility of the Ballintemple stadium staging All-Ireland series football games. Fourth-round qualifiers and quarter-finals could also come into the reckoning, depending on geographical suitability.
In a statement yesterday, the Cork board it was “informed this morning that the scheduled handover date of June 18 would not now be met. There are still some commissioning works to be completed and these will be finished by July 7. The first game in the new stadium will take place in mid-July”.
There is also the prospect of Páirc Uí Chaoimh being in a position to host a Munster final replay.
Should Cork and Kerry finish in a draw, a second date would likely take place on the weekend of July 15-16. A hurling decider replay would also have to be scheduled for that weekend, as the All-Ireland quarter-finals are scheduled for the following week.
It had been hoped there would be a club game or two played there as a dry run for the Munster SFC final and that may still be the case after July 7.
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