Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Croke Park will be out of date inside decade

Former GAA director general Liam Mulvihill has warned that Croke Park will need a complete overhaul 10 years from now.

The 82,500 capacity stadium was completely redeveloped between 1993 and 2002 at a cost of €260 million.

But Mulvihill, who stepped down as DG in January 2008 after 29 years, has claimed that it will be outdated by 2020.

“That will be a real challenge for the GAA’s leadership as they strive to keep it at the cutting edge of stadium technology and it will be hugely expensive.

“Croke Park, though, remains a nest egg for the Association. It has the capacity to raise money for the GAA providing it’s run properly.”

Croke Park could host the inaugural Magners League grand rugby final if Leinster and Munster are involved.

Celtic Rugby chief David Jordan has confirmed that GAA headquarters will be considered as a venue if the two Irish provinces reach the final on May 29 2010.

Last May, Croke Park staged the Heineken Cup semi-final between the arch-rivals which attracted a world record crowd of over 82,000 for a club rugby game.

An 18,000 capacity along with suitable broadcasting and corporate facilities are required to stage the event, but a Leinster versus Munster showdown at Croke Park would be a dream inaugural final for Celtic Rugby.

“The teams involved can nominate an alternative venue,” Jordan said.

“After that it is up to Celtic Rugby to assess that. It is a little premature to be thinking about that now but from a practical point of view we can work out all the possibilities should such a situation arise.

“There will only be two weeks between our semi-finals and the grand final so we will try and anticipate where the final may be hosted so we can be ready to go.”

Croke Park stadium director Peter McKenna is understandably hesitant to comment on hosting another major rugby match before next April's annual Congress vote on the issue.

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