Acres of glass get last polish ahead of handover
THE final polish was being put on the new Aviva Stadium yesterday before it is due to be officially handed over to rugby and football chiefs on Friday.
Workers at the stadium pulled out the wash cloths, brushes and dust pans as they put the finishing touches to the newly-built 50,000-seater arena in south Dublin.
And while most Irish men tend to run a mile when a mop is put in front of them, the aerobatic cleaner in our picture was more than man enough for the task as he set to polishing up the glass-work surrounding the pitch.
The big clean-up has been scheduled to coincide with the official handing of the stadium back to the IRFU and also the FAI in just two days' time.
That was the day set for the completion of the sporting complex back when images of the redevelopment of the old Landsdowne Road site in Dublin could only be found on blueprints.
Taoiseach Brian Cowen will officially open the stadium two weeks later on May 14, with a party for invited guests of both sporting organisations.
However, it will not be until July 31 that a ball will be kicked on the new turf, with a special rugby match between a Leinster-Ulster mixed team and a side made from Munster and Connacht players.
The first football match will be an international clash between Ireland and Argentina on August 11.
Meanwhile, the stadium's sponsor, insurance company Aviva, has revealed its plans to celebrate the soccer World Cup with two special events at the new site.
On June 19, it hopes to attract 10,000 people to the stadium for a range of entertainment that has yet to be finalised.
Then, on July 11, the day of the World Cup final, football fans will be treated to a unique big-screen showing of the match.