Louth neighbours sharing a stadium may seem economically logical to those who don't live in either Drogheda or Dundalk, but to supporters of both clubs it would be a non-runner and would, they feel, lead to the demise of both clubs.
Dundalk fans who watched the Republic of Ireland's U21 game in Tallaght Stadium on Friday night must have cast envious eyes on seeing that the work has started on building the new South Stand.
The stand which, which will have 2,500 seats, will see the stadium completely ringed with seating and bring the capacity of the ground to 10,500.
The stadium is, of course, owned by South Dublin County Council who are funding the construction of the new development, and a refurbishment of the West Stand, to include an €1.7m upgrade of the media facilities, all of which is costing €7.7m.
The envious eyes cast at the stadium are not just those of Dundalk supporters, but fans of all other Dublin clubs and Drogheda United, for they have to watch their clubs perform in grounds that one prominent soccer writer said recently "would win no beauty contest".
More importantly, however, is the advantage that the tenants of the Tallaght Stadium, Shamrock Rovers, enjoy over almost all other League of Ireland (LOI) clubs because of their ‘sweetheart deal’ with the council which gives them preferential use of the stadium, not just with its excellent facilities, but easily the best surface in the league (maintained by the council) at very favourable terms.
The most obvious advantage Rovers enjoy, and which will be enhanced by the extra 2,500 seats, is the additional money that they can generate on 'gates' which, in turn, can be ploughed into the team.
The completion of Tallaght Stadium to one of the finest in the country will again highlight the reality that most LOI clubs have to play in grounds that are not fit for purpose, and while various proposals have been forthcoming from government and local authorities about providing funds to upgrade grounds like Dalymount and Tolka Park, these plans all seem to get bogged down in red tape and endless debates between clubs and their supporters.
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar appeared to recognise the need to upgrade LOI grounds recently when commenting on the country's application to be part of the bid with the UK to stage the 2030 World Cup finals. He suggested that there would have to be State investment in ground facilities to make them fit for purpose for visiting teams to train and prepare for their games.
While that prospect will be welcomed by all LOI fans who have to watch games in the open in all kinds of adverse weather, and resort to the use of facilities that are a disgrace, the fact is that there is unlikely to be State investment in the grounds in the immediate future.
That means that clubs like Dundalk, Drogheda United, Bohemians, St Patrick's Athletic and Shelbourne, who have to play in grounds that are the worst in the country, must plough ahead with their own plans.
In that regard, an opportunity has now arisen for Dundalk to try and raise the funds needed to purchase Joe’s Park, next door to Oriel Park, which has recently come on to the market.
Joe’s Park, or to give it its proper name, St Joseph's Park, is named after Joe McEntee, the legendary, inspirational figure behind St Joseph's Boys Club which provided badly needed club facilities for boys in premises off Anne Street, and also fielded teams that competed in the minor and junior leagues in town.
Most of those junior games were staged in Joe’s Park when the Dundalk Summer League enjoyed great popularity in the 1950s and 1960s with upwards of 10 games staged there each week, drawing hundreds of spectators to see the best teams in action, like Ballybarrack, St Patrick's, St Joseph's, Border Legion and many others.
The ground, which covers 3.192 acres and has a guide price of €975,000, hasn't been used as a sports field for many years, and although there is a private right of way between Oriel Park and Joe’s Park, the acquisition of the ground by Dundalk would considerably enhance the options for any future, long-term plans for the redevelopment of Oriel Park with one of the major advantage being that it would be provide an alternative entrance to the ground other than the existing one.
Recently, as many Dundalk and Drogheda fans will have noted, prominent figures in the LOI have suggested that the clubs should consider collaborating on a ground-share with the most prominent advocate of this suggestion being former St Patrick's manager Johnny McDonnell.
McDonnell argued on an RTÉ Soccer Podcast that Drogheda's home, United Park, should be "bulldozed, knocked down... It's gone," he said, adding: "The dressing rooms are the same as when I played there for the Shamrock Rovers B team at 18. They're the same, they've just been painted".
He said that he wasn't slating Drogheda but said "the place just needs to be knocked down. The pitch itself is a fine pitch but just the surroundings. RTÉ showed the (Louth) derby there recently. The match was good but the surroundings, and if people are looking in at that, they're saying, 'is this the national league? The Premier league?"
McDonnell said that he knew there was talk of Drogheda building a stadium but he asked "could Dundalk and Drogheda share a ground?. If they could share a ground, build a proper stadium of 8 or 9,000? Maybe they can come together, get the finances, supported by the government, and get a proper stadium in."
Former Dundalk goalkeeper Gary Rogers, who shared the same podcast with McDonnell, offered the view that the facilities on offer in the League of Ireland even trail those north of the border in the Irish League.
He added: "The facilities let us down. The product is good on the pitch. When you look at the product in a Cup final in the best stadium in the country, you can be really proud."
He felt that the stadiums were better for Irish League clubs because they were getting the funding they needed from the government.
McDonnell was not the first to suggest that Dundalk and Drogheda United should share a ground, for some time ago Daily Mail columnist Philip Quinn even advocated that the new stadium should be located off the M1 and funded by government and local authorities.
Undoubtedly, Louth neighbours sharing a stadium may seem economically logical to those who don't live in either Drogheda or Dundalk, but to supporters of both clubs it would be a non-runner and would, they feel, lead to the demise of both clubs.
Supporters of both clubs would be entitled to ask why Liverpool and Everton, who are separated by just 1.5km. across Stanley Park, would never share a stadium, so why then would Dundalk and Drogheda, who are separated by 35km, share a ground?
For many Dundalk fans, Oriel Park, to where many were brought by their fathers, is an integral part of the fabric of the club, and the thought of finding a new home, off the motorway, somewhere between Drogheda and Dundalk, is anathema to them.
Oriel Park is where the team belong, and perhaps now is the time, with new owners at the helm who have the welfare of the club at heart, to make some plans for refurbishment.