Big games 'will be worth €12.5m to local economy'
The GAA has told the Government it estimates a redeveloped Páirc Uí Chaoimh stadium will be worth €12.5m to the local economy for each major match.
This is according to an information document, marked "strictly private and confidential", which was submitted by the Cork County Board to the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport last December.
Some of the projections were queried by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.
The document was supplied to the Irish Independent under Freedom of Information rules, subject to some redactions. As released, it did not give a breakdown of how the projected economic benefits were calculated.
However, it said the benefits had been recognised and endorsed by Cork businesses.
The document predicted the new 45,000-capacity ground would lead to an increase in major fixtures and events, provide a focal point for tourism, become a regular concert, conference, festival and exhibition venue.
It said the number of spectators would increase by 25pc to around 168,000 per annum.
GAA officials also predicted a €22m boost to the local construction sector. The document said 450 direct jobs would be created at the peak of construction and a further 150 indirect jobs. In addition to this, it said there would be 36 design and engineering jobs at its height.
"Large construction contractors typically source half of their staff on large projects by re-employing workers who have suffered in the downturn, and are either currently seeking work or working abroad," it said.
The document estimated this would lead to social welfare savings of €8.7m. It also said a similar amount would be paid from income tax.
A Department of Public Expenditure official said the economic benefit projections required further clarification to test their robustness. In an email, the official said assumptions made about the level of unemployed workers being hired appeared "optimistic".
In an April statement, the county board said it was confident the basis of the case for the redevelopment was correct and it would provide any information sought by department officials.