The news Laya Healthcare has secured the naming rights to the RDS venue in Dublin has sparked speculation that the redeveloped Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork may also attract an insurance company as a naming rights partner.
Laya is based on Leeside, and its decision to associate itself with Leinster Rugby is seen as a move to strengthen its presence in the Dublin and eastern regions.
Industry insiders now suggest that an organisation in the same field may see the new sports stadium being built in Cork as an ideal opportunity to strengthen its presence and visibility in the south of the country.
Aviva Group Ireland signed a 10-year deal for the naming rights to the redeveloped Lansdowne Road in 2009, a commitment believed to be in the region of €44m with the option to extend for a further five years.
The Laya deal with the RDS is believed to be worth about €8m: the 10-year sponsorship agreement was sealed by Leinster Rugby on behalf of the RDS, which is where Leinster have played their home games since 2007.
There are proposals to redevelop the Ballsbridge site and the sponsorship revenue would help fund this, including the planned increase in capacity from 18,500 to 21,000 at rugby matches.
Work is progressing on the redevelopment of Páirc Uí Chaoimh with a view to being completed by June 2017, with a total capacity of 45,000 — 13,000 in the south stand (formerly covered), 8,000 in the north stand and 12,000 on each of the terraces.
It was originally estimated that the cost would be €70m, but the latest estimates put the cost of completion nearer to €78m.
However, GAA officials remain confident the increase will be covered by the sale of long-term tickets, concerts in the stadium, and other initiatives.
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