FAI / IRFU position prior to GAA Congress motion
FAI /IRFU POSITION PRIOR TO GAA CONGRESS MOTIONThis coming weekend there is a motion down for debate at the GAA Congress in relation to the continued opening/availability of Croke Park for major soccer/rugby matches. We have had a number of queries from administrators and fans in relation to the situation. We have previously clarified the situation on a number of occasions over the past year but are happy to do so again. The facts are as follows:• Both the FAI and the IRFU were delighted when the GAA took the decision to open up Croke Park for the playing of competitive rugby and football internationals. It was a most generous gesture and both associations have acknowledged this.• At the time of making the gesture the GAA made it quite clear that the agreement would only be for the period during which a new home for both Ireland's international rugby and soccer teams was being built at Lansdowne Road. This was fully accepted by the FAI and the IRFU and indeed by the Government who are also major stakeholders in the new stadium.• The question of playing football and rugby internationals at Croke Park post the redevelopment was not on any agenda in 2005. It was fully understood that the GAA's generous gesture only extended for the period that the new stadium was being developed.• It was on the premise presented to both the FAI and the IRFU that Croke Park under no circumstances would be available to Rugby and Football after the completion of the new stadium (now called Aviva Stadium), that the plans and financial models were created for the new stadium.• Given that Aviva Stadium provides most of the finance that drives the sports of football and rugby in Ireland, the best possible contracts to generate the maximum revenue were put in position in relation to all elements of the stadium.• All of the contracts including the naming rights, the catering contract, the pouring rights, box sales and premium seat sales were done in the knowledge that all football and rugby internationals will be played in the new stadium from 2010 onwards.
16th Apr 2010