independent

Thursday 16 August 2018

Deal is done on 3,000 seater United stadium

Ground will cost in the region of €5m and sale of United Park will help fund the exciting project

It is believed the new stadium will be designed in the model of some Scottish grounds, including Hamilton’s Superseal Stadium (pictured)
It is believed the new stadium will be designed in the model of some Scottish grounds, including Hamilton’s Superseal Stadium (pictured)

Hubert Murphy

A new 3,000 all-seater soccer stadium is to be built on lands in North Drogheda to include a number of municipal playing pitches for the community.

Drogheda United will be anchor tenants for the €5m stadium, which can be expanded to a 10,000 capacity in the future.

It is envisaged that the ground will also host underage international games.

The timeframe for the development has yet to be revealed but John Delaney, FAI CEO, confirmed to the Drogheda Independent that discussions will now commence with Louth County Council 'in the coming weeks' to get the ball rolling on pre-planning for the 30 acre development.

The site of the new centre of excellence will be on lands near Newtown and it will form part of the Port Access Route.

'I would like to point out that all the finance that comes from the sale of United Park will be put into the new stadium,' the CEO stated. They will also be seeking government funding as part of the project.

He praised the role of Louth County Council and Chief Executive Joan Martin for making the land available.

'Discussions have been going on for some time but this announcement means that it will happen. It is great news for Drogheda and their supporters and the community there,' he stated.

'We will be going up to Drogheda to look at the plans and then look at a timeframe. Everyone has shown great patience with this and credit to Joan (Martin) and the council for their support. Patience was the key because we knew the prize at the end of it. This has been a long time coming.'

He said that the announcement was a 'watershed' moment for Louth and the League of Ireland.

The facility includes space for several full-size pitches and smaller artificial pitches, which will be accessible to the local community.

Drogheda United's Under 19, U17, U15 & U13 players,will use the surrounding pitches for games in the SSE Airtricity League.

"To have a modern stadium in Drogheda that initially starts out with a capacity of 3,000 with scope to rise up to 10,000 seats is great news for Irish football. It means that Drogheda United will have a new home to be proud of and that the FAI will have another venue to stage underage international matches. Drogheda United have had a great history in Irish football and it's time for them to make new memories in a stadium that is fit for purpose to cater for their loyal supporters, to attract new fans, and to serve the local community,' Mr Delaney added.

"I'd like to thank Fiachra Kierans and all involved at Drogheda United, but I'm especially pleased for people like Chris Byrne and Vincent Hoey, following a life-time of support for the club, that his vision for a new stadium will be delivered.'

Joan Martin, CE of the local authority in the county said: "The Council is delighted that this new stadium project has been given the green light by the FAI, after a lot of hard work to transform an initial idea of Municipal Playing Pitches into something that can be realistically built.

"There is no doubt that this project would not have reached this stage without the guidance and persistence of FAI CEO John Delaney. Without John's backing, we would never have moved any closer to

Drogheda Independent

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