Opinion Kevin Myers

Tuesday 16 January 2018

Kevin Myers: IRFU greed has no bounds -- unlike its new stadium

Kevin Myers

There'll probably be empty seats tomorrow in the 50,000-seater stadium at Lansdowne Road for the visit of South Africa, the rugby world champions, whereas the last time they came here -- to Croke Park -- they attracted 75,000 spectators: all in all, a suitable commentary on the magnificent organisational skills of the Irish Rugby Football Union.

For connoisseurs of the IRFU, the debacle of the autumn season comes as no surprise. But what lies ahead, as repayments on the colossal loans required to build the smallest new (but incredibly expensive) international stadium in the world fall due, and if rugby fans refuse to pay the high ticket prices required to fund those payments?

Some 13 years ago, after I'd written a column about the appalling conditions of the old Lansdowne Road -- the absence of decent toilets or proper refreshments for spectators, and the hazards of the terraces -- something strange happened.

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