Martin Breheny: Cork grounds for concern
MUNSTER Council secretary Pat Fitzgerald has questioned the need to redevelop Pairc Ui Chaiomh as a high-capacity stadium, pointing out the province currently has three other major grounds capable of holding over 40,000 spectators.
His comments come in an annual report which shows that the average attendance for the nine Munster senior hurling and football championship ties last year was 17,540, with only one game (Kerry v Cork) attracting over 40,000.
Munster does not require four high-capacity venues, each with modest comfort levels, when one major venue (Semple Stadium is the obvious choice), backed up by modern 20,000-capacity stadiums in the other five counties would be more practical.
Semple Stadium, Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney and the Limerick Gaelic Grounds are all in good condition, so obviously they will remain in place. Pairc Ui Chaoimh is in urgent need of redevelopment, but does it make financial or practical sense to rebuild it as a 40,000+ arena?
Probably not. Question is -- who is going to tell Cork?