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GAA Stadium Standards

  • 20-11-2017 9:08pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 920 Last Stop


    Is it time for the GAA to develop a set of standards for GAA stadiums?
    Some of the GAA stadiums are in appalling state yet they still get some big matches.
    The poor standard of stadiums was highlighted by the rugby world cup bid. Yes we are never going to have 60,000 all-seater world class stadiums throughout the country but surely we can do better?

    Such standards would also act as guidance for new stadiums. Take the new Pairc Ui Choimh for example. €80million and yet it doesn't have hawk-eye which would have cost a mere €200,000.

    UEFA have a clear set of standards and it appears to work quite well. If you don't meet the standards then you move the match (E.g. Dundalk playing in Tallaght stadium).
    Would a similar system work in Ireland? Why not develop the standards, grade each stadium currently and give the county boards 5 years to get their house in order before enforcing them fully.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 33,604 ✭✭✭✭ PTH2009


    You should see Walsh Park in Waterford

    A ****hole but it is getting a makeover cause of the new hurling championship structure


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,665 ✭✭✭ Bonniedog


    Rugby and wendyball come begging to us for places to play when it suits them!

    Some grounds do need upgrading, but certainly not to suit the interests of a rugby WC bid that they are incapable of hosting themselves.

    Every major county and most others have a decent home pitch Louth is one of few counties I can think of where their pitch is a joke and where wendyballers have better grounds, which is not saying much!


  • Registered Users Posts: 920 Last Stop


    One thing that really strikes me is the poor quality of grounds in the commuter belt around Dublin. Louth, Meath, Kildare and Wicklow have possibly some of the worst grounds in the country.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 26,661 ✭✭✭✭ OldMrBrennan83


    This post has been deleted.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,665 ✭✭✭ Bonniedog


    Last Stop wrote: »
    One thing that really strikes me is the poor quality of grounds in the commuter belt around Dublin. Louth, Meath, Kildare and Wicklow have possibly some of the worst grounds in the country.


    Always found Newbridge, Aughrim and Navan to be good venues. Don't have state of art facilities but they don't need them nor is there a demand for them.

    Croke Park, Thurles and PUC, apparently although haven't been there since renovation, are all that is needed for big championship games. One of favourite grounds is Nowlan Park which is well located and great place to watch a game. Would not be worth their while to have bars and food outlets as permanent feature. Like Parnell, you can walk across the road if you want a pint and a sandwich!


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 26,661 ✭✭✭✭ OldMrBrennan83


    This post has been deleted.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,569 ✭✭✭✭ ProudDUB


    Patww79 wrote: »
    This post has been deleted.

    Of course there is a need for them. But maybe it all depends on what your definition of "them" is.

    I don't think having a decent stadium should be a choice between a 60,000 seater white elephant or a complete $hithole from the 50's. It shouldn't be an either, or decision.

    In this day and age, is it really to much to ask, to have a grounds where you have decent, comfortable seating with some decent cover that doesn't resemble a cowshed, decent bathrooms (with brace yourself, hot AND cold running water, fancy that !) adequate parking or wifi? Wifi, Jayzus, am I running away with mysef here? :eek:

    How about terraces for the kids to run around on that aren't a safety hazard, or decent eating options over and above a few chipper vans on the main road outside, or pitches that don't get waterlogged every time Jean Byrne sneezes?

    What about dressing rooms for the players that don't resemble a Soviet era prison, decent press faciliites that actually encourage journos, both local and national to attend games and promote our sports, or sound systems that don't make the national anthem singer sound like a scalded cat?

    The GAA is what....135 odd years old? It brings in millions and millions of euros every year? It can send 100 odd players, mangers, and assorted alickadoos off to Australia and Boston, without so much as a blink of an eye at the cost. Yet so many of its grounds are outdated dumps? That's not right.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,724 ✭✭✭ nice_guy80


    Last Stop wrote: »
    One thing that really strikes me is the poor quality of grounds in the commuter belt around Dublin. Louth, Meath, Kildare and Wicklow have possibly some of the worst grounds in the country.

    they're always dragged into croker for big games


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 11,111 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Hammer Archer


    The awful state of the likes of Drogheda, Newbridge and Navan are partly due to the GAA wanting to build an M50 stadium for these three counties.
    In Navan's case, it's also due to the county board not getting off their ar$es when the money was there. There are plans to completely revamp PT but they're in the very early stages.

    I find it strange that the GAA determined that the grass banks in Navan were closed off as they were deemed to be a H&S hazard despite the grass banks in Drogheda and Walsh Park still being open). Yet the stand itself in Navan is a death trap but open.


  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 10,934 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Stoner


    Patww79 wrote:
    This post has been deleted.


    Ahh they are not that bad. Pointing the car in the right direction home is half the battle


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  • Registered Users Posts: 138 ✭✭ Jim Bowen


    Spending money on Walsh Park is a thundering waste of money. Why Waterford cannot use Nowlan Park is beyond me. Yes I know it's in Kilkenny and I know Kilkenny is in Leinster but economy of scale? Walsh Park is hosting games against Cork and Tipp in the championship this summer. Joke of a ground.


  • Registered Users Posts: 920 Last Stop


    Patww79 wrote: »
    There's just not the need for them. 10 empty Pairc Ui Caoimhs littered around the country would be a pointless waste of money.

    Certainly zero need for the likes of Louth and Wicklow to have anything more than they currently do. The inland counties get the neutral games anyway.

    What do you mean white elephants? The majority of GAA stadiums are used throughout the year for both inter-county and club matches. With the super 8s in football and the provincial groups on hurling, most county grounds are going to see significant more use over the coming years.

    There's no need for stadiums or no need for standards? I'm not saying that every county should have a 60k all seater stadium but they should have basic facilities.

    Unfortunately part of the problem was a preference for capacity over facilities and this has lead to our currently situation. Would a set of standards not help matters?


  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 10,934 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Stoner


    The awful state of the likes of Drogheda, Newbridge and Navan are partly due to the GAA wanting to build an M50 stadium for these three counties. In Navan's case, it's also due to the county board not getting off their ar$es when the money was there. There are plans to completely revamp PT but they're in the very early stages.

    True Navan is in poor repair.

    It's still a good spot for a game but some of the steelwork blocks your view.

    I think something like castlebar would be useful, they got a lot right there, possibly too much money on it for just mayo but it's a great stadium imo. Forget about it in the rain though bring your wet gear.
    Decent toilets are important imo. Some of that is due to poor local management.

    Something the size of MacHale park would hold enough for championship games, early rounders with two games on, there simply are not enough games on in Meath to justify a mid sized stadium.
    It's also why so many games are played at CP to justify it's existence.

    Portlaoise is another decent stadium and signs on it they get a lot of neutral games there.

    You'd wonder though if you'd need such a dedication to standing areas . For example you could save money and do away with behind the goal space as it's rarely used, you'd imagine they could standardise them at this stage


  • Registered Users Posts: 920 Last Stop


    Jim Bowen wrote: »
    Spending money on Walsh Park is a thundering waste of money. Why Waterford cannot use Nowlan Park is beyond me. Yes I know it's in Kilkenny and I know Kilkenny is in Leinster but economy of scale? Walsh Park is hosting games against Cork and Tipp in the championship this summer. Joke of a ground.
    Maybe if standards were brought in saying they can't host matches unless they have x y z then this would change. Until then home advantage means home advantage regardless of the state of the ground


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,223 ✭✭✭✭ tipp_Gunner


    Last Stop wrote: »
    Is it time for the GAA to develop a set of standards for GAA stadiums?
    Some of the GAA stadiums are in appalling state yet they still get some big matches.
    The poor standard of stadiums was highlighted by the rugby world cup bid. Yes we are never going to have 60,000 all-seater world class stadiums throughout the country but surely we can do better?

    Such standards would also act as guidance for new stadiums. Take the new Pairc Ui Choimh for example. €80million and yet it doesn't have hawk-eye which would have cost a mere €200,000.

    UEFA have a clear set of standards and it appears to work quite well. If you don't meet the standards then you move the match (E.g. Dundalk playing in Tallaght stadium).
    Would a similar system work in Ireland? Why not develop the standards, grade each stadium currently and give the county boards 5 years to get their house in order before enforcing them fully.

    It does have Hawkeye tbf. It did for Tipp v Clare anyway in July. I do believe though that viewing is impossible on the extreme wide parts of the new upperstand stand in pairc ui chaoimh from what ive heard.


  • Registered Users Posts: 920 Last Stop


    It does have Hawkeye tbf. It did for Tipp v Clare anyway in July. I do believe though that viewing is impossible on the wide parts of the new stand in pairc ui chaoimh from what ive heard.

    "It’s not permanent cameras in Páirc Uí Chaoimh at the moment, it's temporary. In Croke Park and Thurles we use Hawk-Eye's cameras but in Cork it's not their cameras, but it will be the Hawk-Eye system." From an Rte article at the time.
    They made a temporary solution available for the hurling quarter finals.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,223 ✭✭✭✭ tipp_Gunner


    Last Stop wrote: »
    "It’s not permanent cameras in Páirc Uí Chaoimh at the moment, it's temporary. In Croke Park and Thurles we use Hawk-Eye's cameras but in Cork it's not their cameras, but it will be the Hawk-Eye system." From an Rte article at the time.
    They made a temporary solution available for the hurling quarter finals.

    Kind of poor planning really on their part in that case. to be honest i dont think the GAA grounds need massive capacity but they could do with an upgrade in most parts


  • Registered Users Posts: 920 Last Stop


    Kind of poor planning really on their part in that case. to be honest i dont think the GAA grounds need massive capacity but they could do with an upgrade in most parts

    This is exactly my point. Capacity should be just one factor and similar to the UEFA standards, it should be achievable by most stadiums. What really differentiates between the categories is the standard of facilities.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,750 ✭✭✭ iDave


    I mentioned on the RWC thread that Irish people have such a bizarre relationship with modern stadiums. This thread a great example. Comments like most counties having a decent ground (when they clearly dont) and another saying we dont need decent grounds. It an attitude unique in Europe.
    A modern stadia built to a high standard does not have be a 40K plus ground. Just look at Thomand or Ravenhill. Modest built for need capacities that are also built to a high standard.
    Even on a smaller scale look at what Salford City FC has built or the reserves stadium Man City have. Its possible to build something modern without it being huge.
    This is what we should be aiming for instead of the bare open terracing with poor toilet, media and merchandise facilities.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,223 ✭✭✭✭ tipp_Gunner


    Lack of conjoined thinking in most parts too. Surely for example it would make sense for Waterford and Waterford IT to pool their resources and build a top class greenfield facility when they had the chance? Even Cork and the two third level teams or Carlow with the IT?

    There was talk of Dundalk doing it with Louth some years back but it never came to fruition. Meath for such a proud GAA county have a very poor standard ground in Navan and it was a ground bizarrely proposed to hold an u21 All ireland final a few years ago.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,527 ✭✭✭ Motivator


    Jim Bowen wrote: »
    Spending money on Walsh Park is a thundering waste of money. Why Waterford cannot use Nowlan Park is beyond me. Yes I know it's in Kilkenny and I know Kilkenny is in Leinster but economy of scale? Walsh Park is hosting games against Cork and Tipp in the championship this summer. Joke of a ground.

    I know it’s a dump but I can’t wait for championship games to be played there next summer. A heaving Walsh park will be better than a semi full Semple stadium or PUC. We’ll pack it out and the novelty of playing championship games in Waterford is lovely.

    When I go to games I don’t give a toss about comfort, I want to watch the game and that’s all that I go for. It will be great to have Walsh park upgraded but on a hot summer’s day with Tipperary in town, it will be great.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,724 ✭✭✭ nice_guy80


    Lack of conjoined thinking in most parts too. Surely for example it would make sense for Waterford and Waterford IT to pool their resources and build a top class greenfield facility when they had the chance? Even Cork and the two third level teams or Carlow with the IT?

    There was talk of Dundalk doing it with Louth some years back but it never came to fruition. Meath for such a proud GAA county have a very poor standard ground in Navan and it was a ground bizarrely proposed to hold an u21 All ireland final a few years ago.
    meath developed their training facilities.
    as did Louth.

    what training facilities do the Dublin gaa own? none. they just use those owned by someone else.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,665 ✭✭✭ Bonniedog


    nice_guy80 wrote: »
    meath developed their training facilities.
    as did Louth.

    what training facilities do the Dublin gaa own? none. they just use those owned by someone else.


    I swear to jaysus, if there was a thread about nuclear physics, you and MAM would manage to introduce some whinge about Dublin :)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,724 ✭✭✭ nice_guy80


    Bonniedog wrote: »
    I swear to jaysus, if there was a thread about nuclear physics, you and MAM would manage to introduce some whinge about Dublin :)

    my point is that counties surrounding Dublin chose to upgrade their training facilities
    not their grounds.

    you cannot compare Dublin to surrounding counties


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 26,661 ✭✭✭✭ OldMrBrennan83


    This post has been deleted.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,665 ✭✭✭ Bonniedog


    nice_guy80 wrote: »
    my point is that counties surrounding Dublin chose to upgrade their training facilities
    not their grounds.

    you cannot compare Dublin to surrounding counties


    Dublin don't need to train: bribing refs, and snorting the marching candy before games are much better use of our vast funds.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 26,661 ✭✭✭✭ OldMrBrennan83


    This post has been deleted.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,967 ✭✭✭✭ The Lost Sheep


    Bonniedog wrote: »
    Always found Newbridge, Aughrim and Navan to be good venues. Don't have state of art facilities but they don't need them nor is there a demand for them.

    Croke Park, Thurles and PUC, apparently although haven't been there since renovation, are all that is needed for big championship games. One of favourite grounds is Nowlan Park which is well located and great place to watch a game. Would not be worth their while to have bars and food outlets as permanent feature. Like Parnell, you can walk across the road if you want a pint and a sandwich!
    Your last sentence is nonsense. People want facilities and services at games. It certainly would be worth their while having bars/food outlets as permanent features. People inside ground wont/cant be left leave if they want pint/sandwich to come back in.
    iDave wrote: »
    I mentioned on the RWC thread that Irish people have such a bizarre relationship with modern stadiums. This thread a great example. Comments like most counties having a decent ground (when they clearly dont) and another saying we dont need decent grounds. It an attitude unique in Europe.
    A modern stadia built to a high standard does not have be a 40K plus ground. Just look at Thomand or Ravenhill. Modest built for need capacities that are also built to a high standard.
    Even on a smaller scale look at what Salford City FC has built or the reserves stadium Man City have. Its possible to build something modern without it being huge.
    This is what we should be aiming for instead of the bare open terracing with poor toilet, media and merchandise facilities.
    Totally agree. Thomond/Ravenhill built to very high standard but not super high capacity
    Lack of conjoined thinking in most parts too. Surely for example it would make sense for Waterford and Waterford IT to pool their resources and build a top class greenfield facility when they had the chance? Even Cork and the two third level teams or Carlow with the IT?

    There was talk of Dundalk doing it with Louth some years back but it never came to fruition. Meath for such a proud GAA county have a very poor standard ground in Navan and it was a ground bizarrely proposed to hold an u21 All ireland final a few years ago.
    CIT has a super ground small but perfect for their needs(super main stand but its 1200 seats max
    What would you see as ideal ground for both a county and third level institution??


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,223 ✭✭✭✭ tipp_Gunner


    nice_guy80 wrote: »
    meath developed their training facilities.
    as did Louth.

    what training facilities do the Dublin gaa own? none. they just use those owned by someone else.

    Navan in fairness needs a revamp tho or perhaps they should have pooled in with Louth or Kildare and built a decent sized ground.

    I'd imagine that facilities in Dublin club football is so good they probably don't need a centre of excellence.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,727 ✭✭✭ WesternZulu


    Motivator wrote: »
    When I go to games I don’t give a toss about comfort, I want to watch the game and that’s all that I go for. It will be great to have Walsh park upgraded but on a hot summer’s day with Tipperary in town, it will be great.

    That's such a backward view. You might not give a toss about comfort when watching a game but most people do, especially if they are bringing kids. One of the best things about going to Croke Park in my opinion is the fact that you can actually watch a game in comfort in a nice modern stadium with good views and facilities.

    Someone mentioned Castlebar as being a good example of what a county like Meath should aim for. I'm from Mayo and think MacHale Park is a terrible example of a stadium any county should base as a template imo. You have uncovered concrete benches on 3 sides that look awful and not in any ways comfortable as well as a recently build stand that for some reason has beams blocking peoples views. Don't even get me started on why the seats are blue!

    Kilkenny have gone about things the right way - a nice compact stadium where all four sides are covered.

    I think each of the three provinces outside Leinster should have one modern 30-40k 'mini Croke Park' with modern facilities and importantly have all four sides covered. We live in Ireland for Gods sake, we need stadiums that are covered. The idea that every county should have their own white elephant is ridiculous and is the reason why the GAA is in the situation now where in Munster there are multiple stadiums over 40k but none that would actually impress in any sort of modern context.

    I remember the first time being to Thurles and being excited about it after all I heard about it being the GAA's second stadium and to be honest I was completely underwhelmed. Why should the GAA not strive for the best? Quality over stadium size should be encouraged.


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