Leinster on the move
MOVES are under way for a new partnership between Leinster Rugby and UCD, incorporating the establishment of a multi-million-euro purpose-built facility on the university's grounds, WRITES HUGH FARRELLY.
Leinster currently use UCD's all-weather and regular pitch facilities and it is understood that the branch are looking to base themselves adjacent to the college campus.
The Leinster branch declined to comment yesterday but, while the proposal is a work in progress with no contract signed, it is believed that the intention is to establish a new base in the former Philips building in Clonskeagh, owned by UCD.
At the moment the branch offices are based in Donnybrook and the cost of fitting up the new purpose-built facility is estimated to be around €2.5m, with an annual rent of €500,000. If the move goes ahead, funding would be facilitated by private benefactors.
At last April's Annual General Meeting, the branch announced a deficit of over €300,000, with the ongoing cost of paying off the development of Donnybrook Stadium (estimated at €8m) a significant contributory factor.
However, record season ticket sales this year, allied to revenue accrued from Magners League Grand Final and Heineken Cup semi-final appearances last season, as well as crowds of 50,645 and 44,873 for Lansdowne Road meetings with Munster and Clermont this season, have left the branch's finances in a healthy state.