Friday 24 March 2017

Casement set for 2019 finish after fresh plans unveiled

An artist’s impression of the redeveloped Casement Park, which will see its capacity reduced to 34,500
An artist’s impression of the redeveloped Casement Park, which will see its capacity reduced to 34,500
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Ulster GAA hopes to stage the 2020 provincial football final at revamped Casement Park, it stated yesterday after unveiling fresh plans for the west Belfast venue.

The new plans come after the initial planning permission was declared "unlawful" by a judicial review two years ago.

But after a more extensive consultation process, Ulster GAA believes it has addressed the concerns expressed and believes it has 91pc backing now from the local community.

It is hoped to have the new stadium completed by 2019.

With Windsor Park and Ravenhill revamped, the political mood is strong that a GAA headquarters for Belfast should now be completed.

The new Casement Park will have a capacity of 34,500, down from 38,000 originally.

Some 8,000 of that capacity will be standing terracing, though the terrace will be covered and incorporated into the complete bowl design, which will be smaller in height and scale.

The new Casement Park is an integral part of Ireland's 2023 Rugby World Cup bid.

Chairman of the redevelopment and former Ulster Council chairman Tom Daly outlined some of the changes at the launch.

"The design unveiling demonstrates Ulster GAA's willingness to engage, listen and evolve our plans for a new Casement Park stadium," he said.

"In the new scheme we have reduced the scale, mass, size and capacity of the stadium while at the same time creating a first-class atmosphere for GAA supporters through the bowl design and up-close spectator experience."

The economic benefits of having a revamped stadium in this part of the city have been highlighted.

Irish Independent

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