Belfast Telegraph

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New Aviva stadium ‘sprung a leak during first game’

By Heather McGarrigle

“Built on greatness” the website proclaims — but Dublin’s £333 million Aviva Stadium doesn’t appear to be living up to its promise.

With the Irish taxpayer footing around £159m of the bill, fans are disappointed that the roof is leaking.

Dermot McMonagle from Cavan was in the Upper Tier of the South Stand last Saturday for the under-20 match between Munster-Connaught and Leinster-Ulster.

He told the Irish Mail on Sunday: “There was quite a heavy, swirly shower after half-time. It was coming down through the roof at a couple of places near at hand, within eight or nine feet and later it was coming down behind me too.”

Mr McMonagle and several others complained to stewards, who commented: “Well, the people that make the decisions around here don’t come up here.”

Fortunately, fans were able to move from affected seats as the stadium was not full to capacity on Saturday.

Rain would have caused a bigger outcry if it had arrived on Wednesday when Manchester United thrashed the Airtricity League XI 7-1 as 49,861 of the stadium’s 50,000 seats were occupied.

The showcase match itself saw problems, when fans faced hours of queueing for tickets.

The FAI had announced tickets would be on sale between 9am and 5pm on the day. However following some sales in the morning, a makeshift ticket booth only opened at 4.30pm.

The FAI is said to have launched an internal investigation into the complaints about leaks.

A spokesman for the Aviva Stadium confirmed that a number of leaks had been identified and that work had been undertaken to rectify the problem.

Belfast Telegraph

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