Croke Park opens to soccer and Rugby

Sunday, April 17, 2005

After intense campaigning during the week, yesterday at GAA Congress delegates voted to open Croke Park to Soccer and Rugby by 227 votes to 97. The stadium which can seat 82,500, is by far Ireland's largest and indeed one of the largest in Europe.

Traditionally soccer and rugby internationals had been played in the much smaller Landsdowne Road stadium, but due to redevelopment it seemed that all internationals would have to be played in the UK. However this situation has now been avoided with the vote by delegates to amend Rule 42 to allow soccer and rugby to be played at Croke Park during the redevelopment of Landsdowne Road. The works are expected to take three years to complete.

The international matches that can now be played in Dublin are expected to generate several million euros of revenue for the local economy.