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Design & Development

GAA begins €12m refurbishment of Croke Park

Featured image credit: GAA

The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) has commenced work on a €12m (£10.5m/$12.8m) refurbishment of the Cusack Stand at Croke Park, with fans set to be given the chance to purchase limited-edition seats from the Dublin venue.

The old Cusack Stand was demolished after the 1993 All-Ireland Football Final and the current structure opened in 1996 as the first part of a wider stadium redevelopment.

The GAA-owned Croke Park has a capacity of 82,500, with the Cusack Stand seating 27,000 fans. The refurbishment will include replacing the seats and upgrading the conference centre, suites and bathrooms. The heating system will also become more energy-efficient.

Croke Park stadium director Peter McKenna said: “We do need to keep the building at an appropriate presentation for both our Monday to Friday clients but also for premium seat customers, suite holders, and the general GAA fan.

“If you only reflect on where you live yourself, then anyone will tell you that a carpet will only have a certain life before you have to change it, the same with your settee, TV, wallpaper, everything else. It’s a constant upkeep, repair and maintenance. You can take that domestic environment and multiply it by 1,000 because Croke Park is just a massive facility.”

McKenna said the refurbishment will allow the GAA to reposition the Cusack Stand as a “very important” mid-sized conference centre. Construction work will begin before Christmas and the project is expected to take six months.

McKenna added: “We’ve got a fairly busy year next year with our games and there’s a window of six months for us to start and finish the works and people are confident we’ll do it in that timeframe.

“I think we’re all really proud of Croke Park. It really is like a house, it’s where we all belong. There’s something just really special about the place so there will be a huge satisfaction when we complete these works.”

Meanwhile, the Irish Independent has reported that 250 reconditioned twin seats from Croke Park are to go on sale to the general public. Seats will be sold in pairs but only 250 will be available to preserve their value.

In February, the GAA reported record revenues for the 2022 financial year, aided by the ability of Croke Park to make a record contribution to the figures.

A combination of the full return of spectators to matches and a record number of seven concerts held at Croke Park helped the GAA’s Central Council to return a consolidated surplus of €6.7m, which was an increase of €4.8m on 2021.