Limerick target May move to Markets Field after moving on from GAA solution
Limerick FC chairman Pat O'Sullivan is hopeful that the Shannonsiders can meet their new target of the May 16 Munster derby with Cork City for their opening night at Markets Field.
The club have agreed an initial four game deal with the Limerick District League to return to Jackman Park for the beginning of the Airtricity League campaign and they are likely to need the venue for longer as building work at their spiritual home continues.
Positive discussions did take place between officials of the League of Ireland side and the Limerick County Board about using the Gaelic Grounds as a stopgap solution.
However, that depended on a motion being passed at GAA Congress this weekend.
St Joseph's Miltown Malbay from Clare want GAA venues opened up to other sports under similar terms to Croke Park.
But with serious doubts about that proposal being ratified and the clock ticking down to Saturday week's opener against Bohemians, the respective parties were unable to bring the Gaelic Grounds idea any further.
With Limerick trimming their budget this year, the cost of another season at Thomond Park was a financial issue and a short-term switch to Galway was even contemplated before the Jackman deal was reached.
Limerick will have to install temporary seating to help bring the modest venue up to scratch.
Meanwhile, they expect further clarity on when Markets Field will be fit for action by the weekend.
The Limerick Enterprise Development Partnership are working on the project and the stadium will have to meet health and safety criteria before getting the green light.
The Cork date would only become a realistic target if all renovations were completed by the end of April.
"Markets Field has been closed for a long time," said O'Sullivan (the last game at the venue was in 1984) and we'll just have to wait a few more weeks. We are expecting confirmation on when we can go back very soon.
"We're not concerned about the pitch at Jackman and we'll put in a temporary stand to cater for supporters."