Rugby Union makes its international debut at the revamped lansdowne road, The Aviva Stadium, today when Ireland take on world champions South Africa.
Despite the IRFU this week admitting that they have priced fans out of this year’s autumn internationals, there is a great atmosphere expected as international rugby returns to its Dublin 4 home.
South Africa have several big names missing for today’s clash, but Declan Kidney is taking nothing for granted; “They have changes in their team, but when you look at the rugby population they have, who’s to know if the guys who have come over might not be the ones who end up holding down a place?” warned the Corkman, “Every tour throws up something and I’m sure this one will throw up combinations for South Africa that might make them even stronger.”
Whatever the outcome of the game, the resumption of games in Lansdowne Road is a welcome boost to hotels near the aviva stadium who have seen the centre of gravity of Rugby weekends migrate towards Dublin city centre and northside over the last four years.
IT was reported in this morning’s Telegraph in the UK that plans are being put in place for the first visit of the English Soccer team to Ireland since the infamous game at Lansdowne Rd in 1995 that was stopped by rioting after Ireland took the lead.
Ireland, who have played all competitive fixtures at Croke Park since 2007 due to the renovation of Lansdowne Road, are to officially re-open the 50,000-seat Aviva stadium against (possible World Champions) Argentina on Aug 11
Football Association of Ireland (FAI) officials are determined to stage a series of high-profile fixtures at the newley built stadium in an effort to fund their estimated €74million investment and attracting England to Dublin would prove lucrative to both the FAI and the English Football Association through ticket sales and television revenue.
The Aviva Stadium stands on the same site as the old Lansdowne Road stadium, the scene of the riots in 1995. The Riots were recently featured at number 3 on RTE’s program; 20 moments that rocked Irish Sport:
Accountancy group Deloitte has welcomed the imminent opening of the Aviva Stadium, as according to a new report by the global accountancy firm, hosting major global sporting events improves a country’s economic competitiveness.
The Deloitte report entitled ‘A Lasting Legacy: How major events can drive positive change for host communities and economies’ outlines how hosting major sporting and entertainment events, such as the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup, can elevate the host country or city’s global stature and accelerate its economic, political, and social development.
A national sporting infrastructure is critical in order for a country to compete for major events and the Aviva Stadium is a critical addition to Ireland in its quest to host major events.
The report also shows that hosting a global event is becoming a top agenda item for governments around the world, and that competition from emerging nations is growing.
Ireland must aim to host sporting events
Deloitte says the impact of the newly developed Aviva Stadium in Dublin in attracting such events can already been seen as the venue has secured the UEFA’s Europa League final in May 2011 and is also in contention to host the 2011 Heineken Cup Final. Apart from the immediate positive impact for bsuinesses like hotels near the Aviva Stadium , there is a long term econoic benefit of hosting such events.
“More and more countries around the world are competing to host major sporting events. They have recognised the economic benefits that these events can bring. Here in Ireland, we now need to look at how we can increase our chances of securing such events as a means of continuing our economic recovery, while also reaping the long-term advantages that hosting such events can bring,” said Harry Goddard, Partner, Public Sector, Deloitte said.
The following promotional video has been launched for the inaugural concert that will be held at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin when it opens later this year.
The move back to the Aviva Stadium by Rugby and Soccer has been predicted to cost the local Dublin economy millions of euro due to the smaller capacity at the new Lansdowne Road stadium. The prediction was made recently by GAA president Christy Cooney speaking at the publication of the GAA and Croke Park Stadium’s annual accounts.
Cooney estimated that the hosting of games and concerts at their own flagship venue was worth half a billion euro to the city last year. Stadium director Peter McKenna estimated the figure could be as high as €600m while both claimed that the net worth to the area per game at Croker stood between €30m and €35m.
The size of the new venue in Dublin 4 has already caused some disquiet, as has the fact that both governing bodies, the IRFU and the FAI, are locked in to deals which prevent them from playing home ties anywhere else for the next 10 years.
That means that for a full decade the bigger games, such as the Ireland-England Six Nations clash and major soccer qualifiers cannot be switched to the 60% larger Croke Park nomatter what the demand levels are.
This will see thousands of disappointed fans missing out on attending their favourite events and will see the 2 sports associations at teh Aviva Stadium missing out on almost 2-million in ticket sales over the 10 years amounting to losses of up to €100million at today’s average ticket prices.
Details have been announced of the first concert to be held at the new Aviva Stadium on Lansdowne Road in Dublin. The concert, featuring Canadian singer-songwriter Michael Bublé, will take place on Friday September 24th 2010 just 7 weeks after the opening by an exhibition rugby game to be played at the new stadium between a Leinster/Ulster selection and a Munster/Connacht team on Saturday, August 7th