2010 European champions Internazionale Milan are set to be the first high profile team confirmed for a pre-season tournament due to take place at Dublin’s new Aviva Stadium next Summer.
According to the FAI, Inter will take on an Airtricity League 11 along with several other top European sides when the event gets underway in Late July/Early August 2011.
The tournament, which will be the first venture in a ten-year agreement between the FAI and media company Endemol Sport, is certain to bring supporters flocking to hotels near the Aviva Stadium creating huge demand for hotel rooms.
“Inter Milan start the exciting line up of participating clubs and we look forward to unveiling more top sides in the coming weeks,” said chief executive of the FAI , John Delaney.
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:
The Republic of Ireland will start their Euro-2012 qualifying campaign away to Armenia on 3 September with the new Aviva Stadium being the host the first home game of the tournament qualifiers against Andora four days later.
The campaign will end, as it started -against Armenia, in Dublin on 11 October 2011.
Republic manager, Giovanni Trapattoni, said in an interview: ‘The early fixtures represent good opportunities for us and it is always good to finish at home,” and he added: “On balance, these fixtures are better than those we had in the previous World Cup qualification campaign.
“I also think the squad will have benefitted from the significant steps forward made against top sides like Bulgaria, Montenegro, Italy, France and Brazil.”
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.