Clare GAA chiefs have confirmed they will lobby the provincial council to bring Munster senior championship hurling to Cusack Park upon completion of a €2.3m redevelopment of the Ennis venue.
Cusack Park is to undergo a significant facelift, which will see the capacity increase from 12,500 to 20,000, it was revealed last week.
As part of the regeneration project, the existing roof and seating in the main stand are to be modernised, while dressing rooms, toilets and media facilities will all be redeveloped.
A 200-space car park is to be built behind the town end while additional turnstiles will also be installed.
The Clare executive have met with officials from Croke Park and Munster Council to secure funding for the project and chairman Michael McDonagh pictured is optimistic the new-look Cusack Park will be open for business in time for the 2015 national leagues.
“What we hope to do is take the roof of the main stand and put back on a new roof with facilities for press, television and VIPs. We will also be taking up the existing seating and installing 1,200 seats. Underneath the stand we hope to redevelop the dressing rooms, function room and all other ancillary services like toilets. The main stand will have a modern feel,” explained McDonagh.
“Because at present we only have turnstiles in two areas our capacity is capped at 12,500. The installation of additional turnstile areas will provide increased access in and out of the grounds and meet health and safety demands, thus increasing the ground’s capacity. We are very cognisant of the fact that we need as much funding from Munster and Central Council as possible so this project can be delivered debt free on our end. We are expecting a decision from the two bodies by the end of November. Once we know what they are giving us we will know how much we have to come up with.”
On bringing Munster senior championship hurling to Cusack Park, McDonagh added: “Of course we will look for senior provincial championship games. We believe it is a two-way street. We would deliver the crowds at important matches fixed for Cusack Park which would then provide revenue for Central Council and Munster Council. They will get their money back by awarding us big matches which would enable us to draw large crowds.”
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