Saturday 16 December 2017

Limerick in bid to boost income


THE GAA in Limerick will this week take the first steps towards holding lucrative concerts at the Gaelic Grounds.

Limerick County Board will submit a request to lift restrictions on the Gaelic Grounds which confines the use of the stadium to sporting events with a view to staging concerts there as early as next year.

Consultants working on behalf of the board have already met with city officials and an application has been prepared. It's understood a concert would be worth in the region of €20m to the local economy and with 60,000 tickets potentially selling for an average of €70, it would also lead to a lucrative windfall for the board.

"There's a really long way to go but we're hopeful that our submission will be looked upon favourably by city council," secretary Mike O'Riordan said. The main thing we had to look at was the stipulation about only sporting events being played in the Gaelic Grounds. But we've worked hard on that and we're hopeful the planning documentation will be altered in that regard.

"We've had no option other than to seek other ways in which we could generate revenue with the stadium," O'Riordan added.

O'Riordan said the board would do all it could to alleviate any concerns held by local residents. "We expect that residents will object but hopefully common sense will prevail. We plan to meet residents soon and facilitate them any way we can. Looking at the bigger picture, one concert would potentially bring in enough to keep our operation going for 12 months so it's something you'd have to look at.

Even though the board's 2011 deficit of €16,000 was low in comparison to other counties, they have projects lined up at Mick Neville Park, Rathkeale and in future restoration of the Gaelic Grounds.

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