Plans by the Dublin GAA county to build a 25,000 capacity stadium could very well be back on the agenda as negotiations to buy the Spawell Complex have reopened.
Sixteen months ago the Dublin County Board were unsuccessful in their attempts at buying the site as they controversially lost out to an investment fund.
That deal sparked outrage and Dublin CEO John Costello was very critical of NAMA. The 35 acre site was originally priced at €6.5m, it was eventually sold for €9m, its believed that the county board had offered €8.5m, but the investment fund upped that bid by another €500,000 to secure the sale of the site.
It’s being reported though in the Irish Independent that the Dublin County Board are in negotiations with the Davy managed fund to buy the site which is ideally situated just off the M50 for a prime sporting facility.
In its strategic plan which was drawn up in 2011 the Dublin County Board identified the need for a suitable mid-sized capacity stadium that was somewhere in between current home Parnell Park that has a capacity of just 9,000 and Croke Park which holds 82,300.
It was believed a 25,000 capacity stadium would be suitable to host some of Dublin’s home football and hurling league games which of course would when full provide a much better atmosphere for both spectators and supporters than a half empty Croke Park.
It’s believed no deal has been done yet but progress has been made in the negotiations and if the Dublin County Board are successful in their bid for the site, besides the plan to build the 25,000 capacity stadium, the county board also plan to also add four additional full size pitches and other support facilities, which in turn could see it double up as a Centre of Excellence and be of huge benefit several clubs in the surrounding areas.
Even if the Dublin County Board are successful it will still be many years off before the stadium would be ready to host games, but it would very welcome and much needed addition to the county.