Heineken Cup final for Aviva Stadium

Hotels near the Aviva stadium in Dublin got a welcome boost today with the announcement by the ERC that the European Rugby Cup Final (Currently known as the Heineken Cup) will take place at the Dublin venue in 2013.

It will be tenth anniversary of the first and only time that the Heineken Cup final was played at the old Lansdowne Road stadium, the site of the current Aviva Stadium.

In a statement announcing the decision, ERC chief executive Derek McGrath said “The Aviva Stadium is a world-class venue which has quickly established a close affinity with the Heineken Cup having staged three matches last season”…..”Ireland has provided four Heineken Cup champions in the past six seasons and Irish rugby is steeped in the history of the tournament since it began 16 years ago.”

Unfortunately the final in 2003 was very poorly attended due to the finalists both being from France. Wouldn’t it be a great if Munster and Leinster were to battle it out in 2013?


England Soccer team to come to Aviva Stadium?

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:

Aviva Stadium launch to Cost €600m per 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.

Michael Bublé to play concert in Dublin’s Aviva Stadium

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