Thursday 27 November 2014

RDS announce plans for architectural competition that will see stadium capacity rise

Published 11/07/2014 | 13:33

1Pictured at today's announcement for the redevelopment of the RDS Arena are Leinster head coach Matt O'Connor with Luke Fitzgerald and Sean O'Brien
Pictured at today's announcement for the redevelopment of the RDS Arena are Leinster head coach Matt O'Connor with Luke Fitzgerald and Sean O'Brien
The Royal Dublin Society (RDS) and Leinster Rugby have announced plans for the redevelopment of the RDS Arena. Pictured at todays event was Robin Mandal, President of RIAI, left, and Michael Dawson, CEO of Leinster Rugby.
Leinster's Rob Kearney, Fergus McFadden and Jamie Heaslip with the Pro12 trophy after their victory in last year's final against Glasgow Warriors. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Leinster Rugby has announced plans for an architectural design competition that will see the stadium increase by 6,500.

The competition will see the replacement of the iconic Anglestand, with the design of the multi-purpose arena and facilities to increase the current capacity of 18,500 to 25,000.

A six month time frame has been put in place for the selection of a concept architect with work expected to begin on the RDS Arena in April 2016 at the earliest and finished in time for the 2017 Horse Show.

During construction work capacity is expected to be reduced by 3,000 to 4,000, with temporary seating to off-set part of the reduction as Leinster will continue to play their home games at the venue while the Dublin Horse Show will also continue as normal.

The announcement made by the Royal Dublin Society and Leinster Rugby will also have a significant impact for other events and concerts.

The Architectural Design competition will be administered by the Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland (RAI) on a two-stage basis and will be adjudicated by a five person jury.

"This is really fantastic news for all Leinster Rugby supporters, for the players, management and staff," Leinster Chief Executive Michael Dawson said today.

"We had some wonderful moments in the RDS over the years, but it's now time to look to the future," he added.

The budget allocated for the architectural project is €20m, while the Leinster committee confirmed they will explore the concept of selling the naming rights at a later date.

Leinster coach Matt O'Connor revealed his delight with the plans.

"You only have to talk to the players - they love playing in the RDS," he said.

"Bit we are realistic enough to know that we have to move with the times and ensure development of the facilities in the RDS to a world class level and ultimately the players will benefit from that".

Leinster coach Matt O'Connor revealed his delight with the plans.

"You only have to talk to the players - they love playing in the RDS," he said.

"Bit we are realistic enough to know that we have to move with the times and ensure development of the facilities in the RDS to a world class level and ultimately the players will benefit from that".

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