RDS to get €35m revamp
Visitors attending next month's Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show will have one of the final opportunities to see the RDS in its current guise as plans move forward to commence redevelopment of the complex early next year.
Applications for planning permission for the expansion of the Main Arena are currently being processed, and it is hoped that work can start on the rugby and equestrian complex in the spring of 2016.
Though the expansion is expected to take several years to complete, neither the rugby fixtures, music events, or most importantly, the Dublin Horse Show, will be overly affected throughout this time.
The project is expected to cost in the region of €35m.
As home to Ireland's biggest horse show the RDS has also hosted home games for the Leinster Rugby team since 2007.
It currently has the capacity to seat 18,000, and an extra 2,000 in the standing areas, but the new grandstand will see that number increase to 25,000, a move which will be welcomed by the 200,000 or so spectators which flock to the RDS each August.
"It is all systems go now and we are in the process of financing the redevelopment," commented RDS horse show director Pat Hanly who is now counting down the days to the 2015 Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show next month.
With the last of the season's rugby fixtures at the RDS only taking place in early May, there has been little time to prepare the Main Arena for a week of international show jumping, but Hanly ensures everything is on track for the kick-off on August 5.