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Garth Brooks and U2 could be among mega-concerts planned for Cork's €70m refurbished Pairc Uí Chaoimh

By Ralph Riegel

Cork's €70m refurbished Pairc Uí Chaoimh stadium will host a series of mega-concerts from May 2018 with U2 and Garth Brooks amongst the acts rumoured to be sought.

Stadium Building Committee chairman, John Mullins, confirmed that major concerts will definitely be staged at the lavish new Cork stadium next year - but admitted construction schedules meant gigs simply couldn't be organised for this summer.

Mr Mullins, speaking to RedFM's new Red Business Show with Jonathan Healy, said the revamped stadium was purpose-designed to allow major concerts to be organised.

"We have definitive plans for concerts next year," Mr Mullins said. "In all likelihood they will be starting in May. We were too late for the summer market this year and there would have been uncertainty around certain elements of the stadium."

However, he refused to comment on which stars will be performing.

"But now that we are closer to the stadium opening which is going to be at the end of June, we are confident we can provide promoters like Aiken and Desmond (MCD) what they want in terms of the ergonomics of the stadium."

"We will definitely have concerts next summer, starting in all likelihood in May. So watch this space."

The River Lee-sited stadium has been the focus of a major two year rebuild since it finally got the go-ahead for a €70m refurbishment.

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It is hoped the stadium will be opened by late June.

The first major GAA match for the new 45,000 capacity stadium will be the Munster Football Final on July 2.

However, the Cork Co Board are eager to exploit the new facility's capacity for hosting major concerts - particularly as it will help generate vital extra revenue streams.

The old Pairc Uí Chaoimh hosted a number of high profile concerts from the 1980s onwards including Michael Jackson, U2, Prince and Bruce Springsteen.

US country star Garth Brooks has been eager to return to Ireland after the cancellation of his sell-out concerts proposed for Croke Park.

U2 are also understood to be examining a major outdoor gig for Ireland in 2018 given that tens of thousands of fans were left disappointed after being unable to get tickets for their single Irish concert this summer.

A key element of the new Cork stadium design was easy access for heavy-lift loads to allow for both stage construction and audio systems.

The new stadium also has a tunnel which allows for the complete circumnavigation of the ground as well as massively expanded catering facilities.

In the 1980s, the old Cork stadium also hosted the legendary Siamsa Cois Laoi concert series.

Irish Independent

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