Blow for Limerick as opening of new ground in Markets Field is delayed
Limerick FC have been dealt a major blow ahead of the new League of Ireland season following the news that their new ground, Markets Field, will not be available until at least the end of March.
Limerick were due to play their first match at their new ground against Bohemians on Saturday, March 7 and they are pencilled in for further home games against Longford (March 21) and St Patrick's Athletic (March 28) that month.
But in a statement this evening, the Limerick Enterprise Development Partnership have confirmed that the venue is not yet up to the required standard.
Limerick Chairman Pat O’Sullivan issued the following statement this evening: "I regret that as Chairman of Limerick FC that I must announce that the Markets Field will not be available to the club for the month of March 2015 due to circumstances beyond our control.
"We will continue to work closely with the LEDP to resolve the matter as quickly as possible.
"The club is making alternative arrangements to play the games that had been scheduled for the Markets Field.
"The club will provide further information and clarification as it becomes available.
"We thank our sponsors and supporters for their patience and their continued support while we deal with this matter.
"We must now work to ensure that the Markets Field is speedily brought into use and I look for all and everyone’s support to this end."
Limerick have been playing their home games at Thomond Park for the past two seasons and were due to return to their 'spiritual home' at Markets Field this season.
"Having consulted with the design team, contractors, the local authority and statutory bodies, LEDP in conjunction with the related parties has decided that due to Health and Safety and initial capacity concerns that the Markets Field Stadium will not be available for play in the short term," read a statement from Limerick Enterprise Development Partnership.
"It is envisaged that this position will be reviewed at the end of March.
"This decision has been communicated and discussed with both Limerick FC and The FAI.
"LEDP is committed to providing a top class sporting facility for all of the people of Limerick and the region and looks forward to continuing to work closely with Limerick FC, all of the sports governing bodies, the local community, the city and statutory authorities."