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Ravenhill is now so impressive: Minister

Sports Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has visited Ravenhill, the home of Ulster Rugby, ahead of the official opening of the re-developed stadium on Friday evening.

Three new stands have been built at a cost of £16.4million, increasing the capacity from 11,000 to 18,000.

The stadium will be officially re-opened on Friday when Ulster host Leinster in the RaboDirect PRO12. The same two sides met when the Ravenhill pitch was first opened in 1924.

During her visit the Minister met with some of those who had worked on the site, including students and apprentices who had gained employment and experience on site during construction, in keeping with the Department's approach to 'social clauses.'

The Minister was very impressed with the 'new' Ravenhill and praised main contractor Gilbert Ash, sub-contractors, design team, architects and all involved.

"I cannot but admire this magnificent stadium and thank all those who helped this dream to become reality," said the Minister.

"The Ulster team have been competing at the highest levels and it is proper and fitting that they now have a stadium to match.

"There were many great occasions in the 'old' Ravenhill and I'm sure there'll be many more to come in the 'new' Ravenhill."

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