Maze stadium to host Olympic soccer?

Well, even Irish reps on the IOC are buzzing with anticipation that the Republic can pick up some business off the British Olympics in 2012, providing the government provides much needed capital investment in world class training facilities, but Northern Ireland could be given an opportunity to christen the planned stadium at the Maze with a genuine world wide event – Olympic soccer!

  • simon

    i don’t know 7 years to build a stadium on this island seems a bit of an optimistic target.:-)

  • Mick

    As George points out below, this could now kick in all manner of funds not available heretofore!

  • peteb

    Thought you might like this one, Mick.

    From Gavin Elser in the Newsnight daily email –

    Today’s Quote for the Day:


  • 6countyprod

    Has the GAA missed its chance to be involved in this project? Hopefully a new stadium will help to break the sectarian divisions in sport in our society.

  • The Beach Tree


    that’s the second extremely constructive contribution today (after the pleasant and kind praise of the south, and the irish, earlier.) Much more of it, and I might have to start liking you 😉

    And I hope the GAA haven’t missed the boat – would it be so hard for them to accept say, the NI soccer authorities calling it THE national stadium, and rugby and GAA calling it a national stadium (I.E. one of several national stadia across Ireland)?, then the National Stadium, Maze would be acceptable to everyone, to one side its the stadium, to the other its one of them, THIS one being ‘the one at maze’?.

  • GavBelfast

    How about the multi-sports stadium being built, preferably NOT at the Maze site (but if it has to be there, I can live with it) and it being called the Progressive Stadium?

    (I’m sure the local building society could be persuaded to sponsor it.)

  • 6countyprod

    Beach Tree,

    I think you would find that most non-nationalists in NI would be pretty amenable folk in a situation where they are not having Irish nationalism forced down their throats.

  • The Beach Tree


    You might find NI nationalists equally amenable folk if british nationalism/unionism was not shoved down their throat.

    Therefore the middle way, i.e. the majority in NI decides the constitutional issue, and in the meantime we show perhaps a slightly exaggerated respect for each others nationality, culture and aspirations, and use a bit of wit regarding shared spaces, would appear to be the way forward.

    Accept that the irish are irish. End of. Accept that the british are british. End of. None of that to change regardless of existance or not of the border in the future. End of. Leave the border to a border poll. Don’t step on each others toes where it can be avoided. Get on with making the place fun for everyone. Make culture more about personal enjoyment, and less about displays to ‘themuns’. See disputes as problems to be solved, not podiums to be used.

    Hardly rocket science is it?

  • The Devil

    Well at least it’s handy to send a team to, a team with real medal chances.

    The Orange order for the 25k and 50k walk.
    (if they want to finish they’ll have to get the residents to stay at home)

    Paul Berry for the high jump.
    (yeah he’s for the high jump alright)

    Ian Paisley for the Marathon.
    (the man goes on forever)

    The Ardoyne residents for the Hammer
    (don’t know if claw hammers are allowed)

    The Northern bank Provos for the Vault.
    (well if it’s not gold it’s definately untraceable notes)

    Fainna Fail for the Tennis
    ( don’t know what their forehands are like but their backhanders are real winners)

    Gerry Adams for the sculls
    (well thers one medal hope we can watch disappear)

    My wife for the triple jump
    (naw this ones definately a rank outsider)

  • franc

    I really can’t see any reason why the GAA would need to play at this new stadium.

    For a start its to small for any of the significant games within the championship.

    The Ulster final is being moved to Croke Park for the second year running because of the sheer volume of support.

    Last years Ulster final between Armagh & Tyrone attracted a crowd of 65000.

    This new proposed stadium would not even cater for half that attendance.

    Casement Park had 3 million spent on it a couple of years ago and looked superb for the Armagh v Derry game a couple of weeks ago, the 28000 supporters seemed quite content in their surroundings.

  • tribe

    Don’t forget you get the kids in free at GAA grounds

  • 6countyprod

    Point taken, Beach Tree.

  • Henry94


    The GAA were put in the position where if they didn’t say they would use the new stadium it wouldn’t have been built. They did soccer and rugby a favour and they will play a couple of games to avoid making liars of themseles. But they don’t need it.

  • irishman

    Henry’s absolutely correct. Both the IFA and IRFU should be expressing their gratitude to the GAA- in fact, I’d be surprised if they hadn’t already behind closed doors.

    In reality, this is just another sorry attempt by some to turn this issue into a GAA-bashing occasion.

    Personally, I’m looking forward to the 2012 All-Ireland Soccer replay between Shels and Linfield being held at the new MULTI SPORTS/ NATIONAL/ REGIONAL/ PROVINCIAL stadium……

  • GavBelfast

    Irishman, I don’t honestly think too many people have a problem that the GAA gave its ‘blessing’ to the concept, though there are some reservations about accommodating different sized playing areas within it.

    Of course, there are major reservations about the location, well away from Belfast (not exactly our ‘EastEnd’ is it?), and currently pretty much in the middle of nowhere (where stadia elsewhere have tended to fail), and of course reservations, too, over any political element to the Maze site if one is built there.

  • beano

    As a football fan and no huge lover of the GAA I have to agree with Irishman on this. I’m not sure the GAA can be faulted for this. It seems clear they don’t need a stadium but the NIO want them on board so they can go back to their bosses in London saying “Oh look how wonderful, we got all those silly paddies to stop fighting and play together – now give me a real ministerial job” kind of thing.

    Ahh direct rule… almost as bad as the assembly.

  • CavanMan

    GAA in Ulster does not need another stadium unless it holds around 60,000
    we have already spent Millions on Healy Park in Omagh, Breffini Park,Cavan, Ballybofey,and of course Casement,Perhaps we should just invite the NI soccer team to play in Casement instead!! 😉