Wednesday 12 December 2018

New three-tier stand approved for the RDS

Leinster's Devin Toner wins possession of the ball in a lineout in the RDS - next season the venue will have a new stand
Leinster's Devin Toner wins possession of the ball in a lineout in the RDS - next season the venue will have a new stand

Gordon Deegan

The Royal Dublin Society (RDS) has secured the go-ahead for a new three-tier Anglesea Stand at the RDS, which is set to increase the current €24.7m spent by Leinster rugby supporters attending matches at the stadium.

This follows Dublin City Council giving the plan the go-ahead, after finding that the planned 6,481-capacity stand will "provide a modern stand facility with enhanced hospitality facilities for visitors and patrons".

The RDS told the city council that the increased capacity was essential for securing some of the high-profile events that the RDS is expected to host as it acts to remain attractive in an increasingly competitive field.

The existing Anglesea stand was built in the early 1930s and can accommodate 5,743 rugby supporters. Its proposed replacement will accommodate 6,481 patrons, representing an increase of 738.

The plan involves a new three-level grandstand with a connected two-level hospitality and services building, dubbed the 'Pocket Building'.

Planning has been previously granted for the redevelopment of the stand, but it won't be completed before this permission expires, necessitating the need for the new planning application. 

Consultants for the RDS told the council that the multi-purpose RDS arena "is a significant contributor to the economy of Dublin, with an overall estimated combined economic impact of €136.5m to €166m for rugby games, concert events and the annual horse show".

The application has the support of the IRFU, with its chief executive, Philip Browne, telling the council that the proposed development will underpin the Leinster rugby operations at the RDS.

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