Connacht Rugby have announced historic redevelopment plans for the Sportsground Stadium which will see the Irish province more than double their current capacity.
The development will cost in the region of €30m and will have a capacity of 12,000 spectators. It is intended that the development will be funded through a combination of public funds, most notably through the Large Scale Sports Infrastructure Fund, and private funding.
The project will include a ‘fit for purpose’ rugby stadium in addition to a new high-performance training centre for Connacht Rugby while also retaining existing greyhound racing facilities.
The redevelopment plan has been made possible following an arrangement reached between the Irish Greyhound Board and the freehold owners of the Sportsground, the Galway Agricultural and Sports Society, with respect to a shared vision for the future of the Sportsground.
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The announcement comes on the back of a rigorous process to identify the optimum location, composition and design of the proposed new redevelopment in addition to an independent cost benefit analysis.
The arrangement with the Irish Greyhound Board will ensure that rugby fixtures and greyhound racing events will continue to be staged at the venue. The multi-use facility will also be made available for the hosting of other sporting fixtures and events where such demand arises.
CEO of Connacht Rugby, Willie Ruane said: “A key pillar of the vision for Connacht Rugby, Grassroots to Green Shirts, is to deliver facilities that match our ambition. The arrangement we have reached with the IGB, paves the way for the delivery of modern fit for purpose facilities to sustain the Sportsground as the home of club and professional rugby in the province.
“The plans for the stadium redevelopment also include a high-performance training centre to provide both our existing professional players as well as our emerging talent access to appropriate facilities to enable them to fulfil their potential and go on to perform at the highest level.”
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