Waning support for a shared Stadium?

Is this an interesting switchplay in the offing. Mairtin O’Muilleoir is apparently coming out against (though not for a two sport stadium in Belfast) the placing of an international stadium at the former site of the Maze Prison, just outside Belfast. In some respects Mairtin is simply echoing concerns expressed elsewhere that the investment would make poor returns in terms of regeneration benefits. If it were to be built in Belfast it will likely be sited in Ormeau Park: on the front end, facing into a mixed residential area of Ormeau Road.

The two codes that have agreed in principle are soccer and rugby. The code which has so far refused is the GAA. It cites concerns that the presence of GAA supporters in Belfast might create a substantial security risk. Whether it actually does not, seems to be secondary to its determination to keep Casement Park as the focus for its big games in Belfast.

O Mulleoir is no longer involved in politics, but he does retain an important opinion forming role within the Republican community. Without the GAA on board (which it tentatively is for the Maze site), is this an early indcation that the plan for a single stadium (anywhere) is about to unravel? In which case are we facing yet another case of separate (though possibly more sustainable) futures for all?

Definately one to keep an eye on for the future.

  • URQUHART

    I was pleased to see MO’M telling the truth on this one, although his point about the proposals for Belfast are disingenuous.

    The only reason that has been given for the GAA not looking at proposals in Belfast is that there would be ‘security concerns’.

    Surely making the GAA and its fans welcome in the region’s biggest city should be the priority for SF councillors?

  • mnob

    Surely the best way for GAA supporters (and anyone for that matter) to feel comfortable in shared areas of Belfast is actually to use them rather than staying in their own bit.

  • brendan,belfast

    The ‘two sport stadium’ argument against Belfast is totally spurious. Who said that GAA fans will not feel safe in Belfast? Was it someone from within the GAA? Who did that person consult with? As a GAA fan i would be perfectly happy going to games in the city centre (MY city centre!). mind you i would prefer to stay in Casement but i think we are beyond that argument now.

  • Yokel

    If the GAA prefer Casement thats perfectly ok. No one should be forced or cajoled or otherwise into this national stadium, wherever it is placed.

  • Bog warrior

    Yokel

    Well said. The GAA in Ulster don’t need another stadium. They can handle 99% of games in the stadia they already have. The one big match each year that causes a problem in terms of too many spectators and not enough tickets is the Ulster Senior football final. In the last three years years it was moved to Croke Park which is no great hardship anymore with the improved road to Dublin. I recently spoke to a diehard NI supporter i know through work and he said he had serious concerns about the proposed capacity and he couldn’t see NI soccer team ever filling it.

  • Realist

    Bog Warrier,

    “I recently spoke to a diehard NI supporter i know through work and he said he had serious concerns about the proposed capacity and he couldn’t see NI soccer team ever filling it.”

    The 42,000 capacity idea at The Maze was at the demand of the GAA – presumably they have big plans for it’s usage?

    A stadium with a capacity of 25,000/30,000 would be more than adequate for the needs of the IFA.

  • tony

    no public money should be spent unless the stadium caters for all 3 sports

  • BP1078

    “The 42,000 capacity idea at The Maze was at the demand of the GAA – presumably they have big plans for it’s usage?”

    Actually where did this 42,000 figure get pulled out from, why specifically 42,000?

  • Bog warrior

    Realist

    In the GAA circles i move in no one is talking about games at a new stadium outside Lisburn. No grass roots GAA people that i talk to care. We’ve got stadia that can accomodate GAA games there’s no need for another one. Casement Park is just up the road and can accommodate 28000.

  • gerry armstrong’s big toe

    Why should all 3 major team sports have to share a stadium? Anywhere, never mind at the Maze? Their needs are vastly different. The playing surfaces required are also on a significantly different scale. Such imposition by government and civil servants in sporting matters would not be acceptable elsewhere, so why should it be acceptable here? If governement has identified sporting need then it should meet sporting need, not pander to the vanity projects of a few tossers at the NIO.

  • Captain Shamrock

    Bogwarrior and Yokel

    The GAA are deadly keen on getting a 40000 + capacity stadium in the North.
    For full details read Section 8.4.3 of GAA Strategic Review report

    re GAA’s stadia requirements:

    One ‘major’ stadium should be developed in each Province with the exception of Leinster; (A ‘major’ stadium would involve a capacity of 40,000 to 60,000, of which at least two-thirds would be seated and a minimum of 35% of the seats
    would be covered.)

    The GAA’s economic case appears to be backed up by an interim report by Department of Economics University College Cork. see

    http://www.ucc.ie/academic/economics/research/workingpapers/03-01.pdf

    —————————-

    As I see it, there are two fundamental problems for backers of Belfast venues so far:

    1. at the minute most gaa supporters would prefer a neutral out of town venue.
    Under normal circumstances, there’s no argument that there is a better match day atmosphere in stadiums clsoe to city centres.
    If you were a GAA fan in Belfast however, you wouldn’t hang around too long knowing that 40000 fenians is a tempting target for many bigots.

    How will Belfast backers win over the hearts and minds of GAA fans?

    2. The GAA needs a 40000+ capacity full stop.
    There’s no point in them backing a 20000 seat stadium – maybe the Belfast bids know this and they don’t really want the gaa on board.
    If this is the case, then fine – but they shouldn’t get a single penny of govt aid (direct or otherwise) unless gaelic games are catered for as well.

  • Green

    Just out of curiousity, why should any new national stadium not get public funding if the GAA are not involved? Do rugby and football fans not pay taxes? Has the GAA not already benefited from UK and Irish public money?

  • robby

    Since when did the rugby crowd have any interest in a new stadium in Belfast.

    They have said right from the beginning that they were happy at Ravenhill and were planning to press on with further improvements to the ground.

    That leaves the football crowd, who up until recently were averaging less than 10k per game, hardly worthy of a multi million pound stadium.

  • willowfield

    GAA don’t need a stadium and its demands to participate in a multi-sport stadium (build it in the middle-of-nowhere and with an unnecessarily huge capacity) are unreasonable.

    Give the GAA a share of the money needed to build the huge stadium, and use the rest to build a more realistically-sized stadium in a sensible location.

  • stanley

    Is it just me, or am i getting the impression that the football fans don’t want a taig about the place.

    Or is it just that they would look silly in a 42k stadium because there is so little interest in their team.

  • Realist

    stanley,

    “Is it just me, or am i getting the impression that the football fans don’t want a taig about the place”

    I think it’s just you.

    “Or is it just that they would look silly in a 42k stadium because there is so little interest in their team”

    The capacity is certainly an issue.

    Interest in the Northern Ireland team is at a 20 year high, but there is no way that a 42,000 stadium would regularly sell out for Northern Ireland games.

    The Amalgamation Of Northern Ireland Supporters Clubs have produced several excellent papers detailing their opposition to The Maze white elephant.

    Captain Shamrock,

    “The GAA needs a 40000+ capacity full stop”

    Why?

    “If this is the case, then fine – but they shouldn’t get a single penny of govt aid (direct or otherwise) unless gaelic games are catered for as well”

    I understand that the Belfast proposals do not involve “govt aid”.

    Bog Warrier,

    “In the GAA circles i move in no one is talking about games at a new stadium outside Lisburn. No grass roots GAA people that i talk to care”

    Why then have the GAA vetoed both the location and large capacity?

    They must have plans for regular big games there?

  • Michael Robinson

    “Since when did the rugby crowd have any interest in a new stadium in Belfast.

    They have said right from the beginning that they were happy at Ravenhill and were planning to press on with further improvements to the ground.”

    robby – you obviously aren’t up to date with the views of “the rugby crowd”. Take a look at the recent threads [url=http://www.ulsterrugby.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3561]We need a bigger stadium[/url] or [url=http://www.uafc.co.uk/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=3975]Ravenhill[/url] on Ulster rugby websites.

    Ravenhill’s redevelopment is actually planned to DECREASE capacity from approx. 12,700 to 11,500 but upgraded corporate facilities will bring in more overall revenue.

    On Friday night Ulster pulled in a crowd of 10,452 for their Magners League game against the Borders – the bottom team in the league.

    Attendances have been increasing year-on-year with sell-outs for all the European games and inter-provincials.

    It is patently obviously looking at the growth in attendances that any redevelopment at Ravenhill is just a short term measure and Ulster do need access to a larger stadium.

    Personally, I think a 25k stadium in Belfast would be the preferred option. A bigger stadium with better facilities would allow Ulster Rugby to do more innovative marketing promotions, such as events and attractions for families, or limited “cheap seat” promotions. Other professional rugby clubs across Europe have done this with considerable success – but you need the facilities.

    This season Ulster will have a minimum of 13 home games and based on the attendances so far, will probably average around 10,500 per game.

    An alternative to Ravenhill can’t come soon enough.

  • slug

    I think its clear that football and rugby have a good reason for wanting 25000 so lets accept that as a valid argument.

    Its also clear that city centre stadiums are generally better in terms of access and atmosphere, as well as environment.

    Its also clear that you have to spend money fairly on all sports. I don’t know GAAs needs but they are important.

    Its clear that if Ireland Rugby committed to playing some international games then a 42000 seater stadium could be used for that, as well as GAA. So a possibility is two stadia.

  • Michael Robinson

    slug – if there was a 42k stadium in NI, I think the only rugby internationals that would be played there would be Ireland’s annual home game against a “second tier” rugby country such as the Pacific Islands, Romania or the USA (who have visited for the last 3 seasons)

    The Six Nations and games against other “top tier” countries would be in Dublin – and rightly so, in my opinion.

    Additionally, there are A (second XV) and age group interationals but a 42k stadium would be overkill for those.

  • slug

    Michael

    I know its a matter for Irish Rugby but if it really claims to be an all Ireland team I would have thought they might want to play their big games in both jurisdictions on the island. Not necessarily on a 50/50 basis but say 10/50.

  • Bog warrior

    Cap Shamrock

    Thanks for the link, interesting stuff. However the report recommends one 40,000 capacity stadium for Ulster, that doesn’t rule out re-development in Clones or elsewhere.
    If you look at the Ulster GAA council website the Secretary’s report from last year gives a very qualified welcome to the proposals for a new stadium. Check out the Ulster gaa website and look at the secretary’s report under the resources tag(sorry I don’t know how to hyperlink).
    Agree with you that 40,000 GAA supporters in and around City Centre Belfast could be seen as a target for some. Also agree that the GAA have no interest in backing a 20,000 seater stadium. However the GAA hierarchy need to be more open with their membership. If you look at the province of Ulster overall the majority of match going GAA supporters live in the South and West so why buy into a stdium situated so far North East. Did they just not want to say no as there was such momentum building within government and civil service circles at the time for the 3 sports to be located in one stadium?

  • Dean Kong

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/6107012.stm

    Maybe both Irish team could join this group and maybe win something for a change:)

  • Realist

    Interesting perspective in yesterday’s Irish News.

    Maze field of dreams doomed to become a costly nightmare by Brendan Mulgrew

    The issue of the Maze site and the location of the proposed multi-sports stadium is back on the agenda. Let’s face it, it was never really far from the top off the agenda as increasing numbers of people realise that the idea of ploughing tens of millions of our pounds into what is certain to become a white elephant is off the wall.

    The latest doubts expressed about the initiative come from Sinn Fein’s appointee to the Maze Regeneration Panel which drew up the original plan. Mairtin O Muilleoir has pointed out that if the stadium is to be used as a tool for regeneration then the Maze is ‘the last place it should go’. At least Mairtin has the grace to declare that the location of the stadium is part of the wider political deal and doesn’t stand up on it’s own merits.

    Who could seriously look at the issue impartially and say that the Maze site – with no infrastructure, no associated social or lifestyle activities in the immediate environment, no demand or desire from sports fans from any of the major codes and a complete lack of political consensus – is the right place for a new stadium? Taken on its own merits it doesn’t add up and now that members of the original panel are pointing that out on their websites surely the sponsors of this project have a duty to accept that maybe there is an alternative after all.

    So far we have been assured, reassured and then told outright that the Maze site is the ‘only viable option’ and Northern Ireland Office announcement after announcement have been made in a bid to convince the public that the Maze site is best for sporting, social and even economic reasons. Political rivals have closed ranks on the deal which actually put the stadium next to the International Centre for Conflict Resolution (Peace Museum) on the land conveniently available to government. So maybe the rest of us owe a nod of thanks to Mairtin for finally introducing a bit of clarity to the subject. But I won’t hold my breath waiting for the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, or the Strategic Investment Board (SIB) or the NIO to reopen the issue. In fact the speed with which direct rule minister David Hanson followed his call for a business model to be drawn up on the stadium with another call for designers to spell out how the bright shiny stadium may look was distasteful. At least the powers that be could have gone through the pretence of waiting to see how the business model turned out before commissioning five international companies to come up with the design models for the stadium.

    Every meeting or site visit to the Maze is heralded by the SIB as a major step forward as a major step forward in providing us all with the wonderful new stadium. Maybe someone in the SIB thinks that if they keep on saying it in rushed, breathless tones, then finally those soccer, rugby and GAA fans who have said, loudly and consistently that they want no part of the project will finally come round to the idea. Edwin Poots was able to declare on the radio last week that the sports authorities own ‘private polling’ actually indicates that the majority of fans are in favour. Why are such polling results kept private? Along with everything else about this costly mistake there is not enough transparency. Belfast, which as a city was too slow in getting off the mark on this issue, is finally lumbering into life and it appears that the city hall inspired Ormeau park stadium has a real chance of coming to fruition.

    The council has successfully convinced three companies to advance plans based on the ‘design, build and operate’ model which will actually cost the taxpayer a grand total of £0.00. (The Maze site recently had its price upped from £55 million of taxpayers money to £85 million. Watch this space). Should the Ormeau site become a reality in the timescale envisaged – and delivers on the needs of the three main sports – can the SIB and Mr Hanson continue to pursue the Maze field of dreams? Would the public accounts committee allow government to build a second stadium of size where previously there existed none? It will be an interesting race. The argument that the Belfast stadium will not accommodate GAA fans for security reasons is an argument made only by someone within the GAA. Naturally we don’t know who but, as a GAA fan, I am more than happy – entitled even – to attend major games in my home city. That is the argument which nationalist political leaders should be taking up.

  • tommy

    Can’t see to many GAA fans going to this stadium via the lower ravenhill, unless they purchase a uvf t-shirt & 1912 flag and wave it on the way past.

    Or perhaps davey ervine and his fellow terrorists embrace the gaa and open up a hill 16 bar beside the uvf bar

  • Realist

    “Can’t see to many GAA fans going to this stadium via the lower ravenhill, unless they purchase a uvf t-shirt & 1912 flag and wave it on the way past”

    tommy,

    Sure they can go up the Lower Ormeau and along the embankment to get into it.

    It’ll be a good thing for the GAA to have a stadium in Belfast that is not situated in a republican ghetto.

  • tim

    “It’ll be a good thing for the GAA to have a stadium in Belfast that is not situated in a republican ghetto.”

    And for the north’s soccer team to get away from the uff stronghold in South Belfast.Although they would be moving to another uff stronghold on the Ormeau(Annadale flats).

    Does the apprentice boys band hall on the Ormeau allow anyone in or do you still have to have a connection with the Kimberley Bar or local uff unit ??

    p.s why do you consider the andersonstown area to be a ghetto ??

  • Realist

    tim,

    “And for the north’s soccer team to get away from the uff stronghold in South Belfast.Although they would be moving to another uff stronghold on the Ormeau(Annadale flats)”

    Yip – it’ll be a good thing for Northern Ireland internationals to find a home away from Windsor Park, for a variety of reasons.

    I must have missed the resiting of Annadale Flats into Ormeau Park – when did this happen?

    Sure when the GAA heads are making their way to Ormeau Park, they can call in to the Sinn Fein office/shop on the Ormeau Road – they do a quare deal on Hunger Striker “GAA style” jerseys etc.

    It’s only a five minute dander from where the stadium will be.

    “Does the apprentice boys band hall on the Ormeau allow anyone in or do you still have to have a connection with the Kimberley Bar or local uff unit ??”

    I don’t know. I’ve never been on either premises in my life, and I have absolutely no connections with the “local uff unit”. Is the Kimberley Bar still even there?

    “p.s why do you consider the andersonstown area to be a ghetto ??”

    PIRA stronghold sound any better?

    I no intention of getting into a prolonged slanging match with you tim – as I see it, the Ormeau site is in “neutral” territory. I think that’s a good thing for all sports that might be played there.

    A stadium for Belfast, and be done with this Maze white elephant nonsense.

  • The Stout Bean Counter

    Realist
    tim is just another one of the ignorant trolls who spend their time on here talking shite. Ignore him, sooner or later when his mammy finally persuades him out of his bedroom with his favourite dinner of fish-fingers and spaghetti hoops, he’ll do us all a favour and disappear off Slugger.

    tim
    Grab yourself a deoderant and go find yourself a girlfriend.
    btw Do you really want to know the definition of a ghetto ?

    Here let me help you out: from wiki

    “A ghetto is an area where people from a specific racial or ethnic background or united in a given culture or religion live as a group, voluntarily or involuntarily, in milder or stricter seclusion”

    That describes much of a NI down to a tee, now go and disappear into your own little one and stop annoying the grown-ups.

  • tim

    stout

    Time of the month, is it ??

    realist
    “as I see it, the Ormeau site is in “neutral” territory”

    It’s neutral if you forget about entering from the lower Ravenhill end (uvf stronghold)and avoid the Annadale flats (uff stronghold) at the other entrance.

    Windsor would be safer, at least its neutral – uvf & uff in equal measures.

  • Doctor Who

    I think what is clear is there is very little support for a new stadium at the maze.

    The govt. atitude has been the maze or nothing, mainly for political reasons. The on going debates on sites like OWC regarding any new stadium seem to favour a 25k stadium in Ormaeau Park.

    I feel that all Northern Ireland football games can be played there along with any Ireland Rugby matches, outside of six nation competition.

    Public money can then be distributed for upheavals at Ravenhill and Casement to give all local sporting bodies the facilities and comfort that their support expects.

    Windsor Park is outdated and to be frank about it an embarassment of an international venue, but building a White Elephant 15 miles from the city is not the answer. All new stadia in Europe are being built in the heart of the cities, have a look at the tremendous venues built in Germany for the World Cup…or the extroidinary small amount of space that the millenuium stadium in Cardiff takes up.

    It is also worth noting that attendances at Welsh matches prior to their new stadium where very poor, quality, safety and comfort brought the crowds back.

    There is no need for all bodies to share a stadium, it doesn´t happen elsewhere in Ireland so why should it happen here.

  • URQUHART

    “It’s neutral if you forget about entering from the lower Ravenhill end (uvf stronghold)and avoid the Annadale flats (uff stronghold) at the other entrance.” – Tim

    If you could be arsed to look at the proposals for Ormeau you’d see that there is also a proposal to install a new pedestrian bridge linking directly into the Lower Ormeau.

  • Realist

    “If you could be arsed to look at the proposals for Ormeau you’d see that there is also a proposal to install a new pedestrian bridge linking directly into the Lower Ormeau”

    Little facts like that are lost on tim.

    In attending a GAA match at Ormeau, his eyes wouldn’t even have to see a “Proddy”, before, during or after, let alone come into contact with such vile creatures.

  • Crataegus

    There is no doubt in my mind that the site should be Ormeau or Maysfield. I am a developer and with a bit of engineering and imagination Maysfield would also have been excellent. You can build over rivers and railways. Roads can also be moved and imagine a major rail station right at your doorstep. I would love to get my hands on such a development, there is the potential to provide good commercial opportunities and a stadium placed to maximise its use.

    What would worry me is that we ensure that we do maximise the opportunity and have footbridges, offices, cafes and pubs along the river. We use it to help lift that greater area, lower Ravenhill, lower Ormeau etc. Superb opportunity whereas the prison site is utterly stupid and commercially asinine.

  • austin

    ‘If you could be arsed to look at the proposals for Ormeau you’d see that there is also a proposal to install a new pedestrian bridge linking directly into the Lower Ormeau.’

    Urquhart, If you could be arsed getting your facts right, you would know that said pedestrian bridge would finish at Ravenhill Reach close to the Ravenhill Road/Ormeau Embankment. The plethora of murals to loyalist terrorists in this area would hardly make this a safe area for GAA fans to walk through.

    The attitude of myopic sectarian eyes-averters such as you ably demonstrate why nationalists could feel neither comfortable nor safe sitting alongside the likes of you supporting our so-called shared international football team-whether at its current location in the loyalist ghetto of the Village , Ormeau Park or indeed that tolerant and welcoming city of Lisburn.

    Ordinary GAA fans don’t want or need this stadium. I would also question whether NI soccer team could regularly attract gates of 25,000 never mind 42,000. This view is borne out by the fact that they have regularly struggled to fill the paltry capacity of Windsor Pk. as a cursory scrutiny of their attendances over the last couple of decades sadly confirms. I was incredulous to see that despite the fine efforts of their current team, fans in my place of work were desperately struggling to get rid of spare tickets in advance of the Spain game.
    Contrast this with crowds at the nearby Csement Park where 20,000 people turned up last year for a non-descript pre-season McKenna Cup tie.

  • Doctor Who

    Austin

    Fine don´t worry about it then. If your main objection on sharing a stadium is having to look at Prods, well then don´t use it.

    Because you don´t care for the Northern Ireland side and are completely ignorant to the facts, only seves my point that there is no need for a shared stadium. There is however great need for a new football stadium.

    Casement Park can continue to host Gaelic games and commemorations to murderers….although if they expect public money for improvements the later would surely have to cease.

  • URQUHART

    “Urquhart, If you could be arsed getting your facts right, you would know that said pedestrian bridge would finish at Ravenhill Reach close to the Ravenhill Road/Ormeau Embankment. The plethora of murals to loyalist terrorists in this area would hardly make this a safe area for GAA fans to walk through.”

    – this sort of nonsense makes me want to vomit. There are no murals or anything else at Ravenhill Reach. You embarass only yourself by suggesting that Catholics will not feel comfortable in areas even NEAR Protestant estates.

    “The attitude of myopic sectarian eyes-averters such as you ably demonstrate why nationalists could feel neither comfortable nor safe sitting alongside the likes of you supporting our so-called shared international football team-whether at its current location in the loyalist ghetto of the Village , Ormeau Park or indeed that tolerant and welcoming city of Lisburn.”

    – Please don’t present your angry and immature sectarianism as the view of nationalists. It’s offensive,

  • austin

    Urquhart,
    You may recall (or indeed may choose not to recall) that when Ravenhill Reach was firstly built, the local loyalist intelligentsia daubed ‘Vatican City’ on the entrance sign to the development in a typically subtle message to any catholic daring to live in this area that Realist and you so proudly proclaim as neutral territory. This was soon followed by further sectarian graffitti and taunting of residents suspected of the heinous crime of possibly being Catholics. This inevitably led to an exodous of a substantial number of catholic residents from this complex. Now this really makes me want to vomit!!!

  • austin

    Dr Who, my objection to a new stadium is that the GAA And Rugby sports don’t want or need it whilst the NI soccer fans couldn’t fill it.

  • vinty

    “There is however great need for a new football stadium2

    Is there really ???

    Building a stadium for 12000 people.Don’t see the logic in that.

    The lower Ravehill/My lady’s Road area has always been a no go area for Catholics, due to the large support for the uvf in that community.

    It also witnessed one of the worst sectarian killings of the troubles when a young catholic woman, Anne-Marie Smyth was tortured and murdered in the area after being abducted from a Glentoran supporters club nearby.

  • Doctor Who

    Austin

    I think your real reasons for not wanting a new stadium is yes it is not needed for GAA, but also your obvious hatred of the Northern Ireland team.

    A 25,000 seater stadium to be used for football, Irish Rugby internationals, some Ulster Rugby matches and events such as Rock concerts. Now the stadium would not sell out all the time, but demand for some recent NI games has been very high, class opposition being a reason for this. (despite your bollox in one of your posts) Now a new safe, quality and comfortable stadium would increase the demand even higher.

    As I said before Welsh football game attendances improved by 10times due to greater facilities.

    Now a spanking new stadium in a neutral area for use by sportsmen/women from all over NI can only be a good thing for both sides of the community.

    Can it not.

  • Doctor Who

    Are we to summise from the posts of the Nationalist contributors on this thread that they now include Ormeau Park as a no go area for Catholics.

    Stop the mopery children and join the debate.

  • GavBelfast

    What is about discussions whether directly or indirectly related to the Northern Ireland football team, that brings out of their shells the worst type of trolls, with their poisonous lies and out-dated prejudices, such as witnessed abive from the likes of Tim, Austin and latterly Vinty?

    Very disappointing.

    Maybe Northern Ireland could play their games at a new, upgraded, all-seated and floodlit Casement Park? Would the players and fans be welcome there?

    😉

  • ted

    “As I said before Welsh football game attendances improved by 10times due to greater facilities.”

    There was only 28k at their last game, so..

  • Doctor Who

    Ted

    There are a lot of factors involved in guaging just what is a good attendance for a match.

    Wales last game against the minnows of Cyprus yes Cyprus wasn´t so bad.

    Two years ago they got a crowd of 65000 for a match with Northern Ireland.

    Now speaking to Welsh fans they will tell you that only a quarter full Millenium stadium can kill the atmosphere, (78,000 capacity) that´s why a 25,000 modern, safe and comfortable stadium for Northern Ireland is a viable prospect.

  • slug

    Crat

    Good post.

    By the way, isn’t it sad that people can’t discuss this topic without disparaging someone elses sport?

    Grow up guys.

  • The Stout Beancounter

    GavBelfast
    From what I’ve read from his previous reasonably well-balanced contributions, I don’t think Austin is a troll (which makes the reading of his pov even more disappointing), the ~other~ characters you mention slither out, spreading their slime tediously every time there’s anything approaching a debate re NI on there. Keeps “them” out of the streets I suppose and I do believe that “their” little petulant rants work to our benefit…

    “Maybe Northern Ireland could play their games at a new, upgraded, all-seated and floodlit Casement Park? Would the players and fans be welcome there?”

    Now there’s an idea, after all, I do believe that camogie has been played at Satan’s Pleasuredome?

  • austin

    Dr,
    How telling that you fail to address the issue of the abysmal attendance gates that NI soccer team has consistently attracted for decades.

    Instead you seek to justify a new stadium by hanging onto the coat-tails of Rugby Union even though that sport’s preferred option is to develop their own stadium which sits less than a mile away from the Ormeau Park.

    Your clutching at straws gets even better when you seem to suggest that if NI fans can’t fill the stadium, then maybe Rock Fans could do it instead for you.

    If your hare-brained scheme goes ahead, why not get Motley Crue to play the first gig as this should go down well with the motley crew that follow Norn Iron to their Village ghetto

  • vinty

    “with their poisonous lies and out-dated prejudices”

    Gav

    There is nothing outdated about my above post regarding the lower Ravenhill area, it was only a few years that local residents erected placards on lamposts with ‘no taigs on our road’ written on them. I was responding to an earlier post that stated that the proposed stadium was in a neutral venue, which it clearly is not.

    It seems to me that some unionist/n.i posters on this site only want a stadium of 25k in Belfast to stop the GAA from having any association or usage of the venue.

    Perhaps they could call the Ormeau venue ‘The prod-dome’, it might be quite apt considering they want it in a loyalist area with no connection to the biggest spectator sport in the country.

  • URQUHART

    The consistency of the position from those slagging off Ormeau almost suggests that a certain line is being taken. Perhaps Mairtin’s kite flying exercise has pissed off the Party and they’re moving to discredit the Belfast proposals before they gain any more momentum.

    The description of Ormeau just doesn’t match with reality – it’s a growing middle class area with mixed populations who have left the sort of pathetic ‘2nd class citizen’ shite we’re reading here long behind them.

  • The Stout Beancounter

    Not less than 3 minutes ago I wrote:

    “I do believe that “their” little petulant rants work to our benefit…”

    Count to ten and here it is:

    “Perhaps they could call the Ormeau venue ‘The prod-dome’, it might be quite apt considering they want it in a loyalist area with no connection to the biggest spectator sport in the country”

    Cheers “vinty”, you sectarian little weasel for proving my point!

    Good night, you’ve lost:)

  • austin

    Urquhart,
    go ahead and hide behind your conspiracy theory rather than deal with the simple fact of the matter which is which is that the GAA And Rugby sports don’t want or need a new stadium whilst the NI soccer fans couldn’t fill it.

    Quick! Look! Is that me, Vinty and ‘The Party’ up on the grassy knoll in the Ormeau Park?

  • The Stout Beancounter

    “Perhaps Mairtin’s kite flying exercise has pissed off the Party and they’re moving to discredit the Belfast proposals before they gain any more momentum. ”

    URQUHART

    Going on O’Muilleoir’s past record I doubt he’d stray too far from the party line.
    I think we’re seeing more a sectarian knee-jerk reaction to anything that is favoured by the majority of NI fans.

  • The Stout Beancounter

    austin,

    “And Rugby sports don’t want or need a new stadium ….”

    Friend, you haven’t done your homework
    From the beginning of this very thread, from somebody who I believe is slighlty more attuned to the feelings of the rugby fraternity than yourself:)

    “Personally, I think a 25k stadium in Belfast would be the preferred option. A bigger stadium with better facilities would allow Ulster Rugby to do more innovative marketing promotions, such as events and attractions for families, or limited “cheap seat” promotions. Other professional rugby clubs across Europe have done this with considerable success – but you need the facilities”

    Now then whattya think about that ( and tell vinny on your way out)?

    (PS URQUHART- nah you’re right, some cages have been rattled here..)

  • Doctor Who

    Vinty

    The only organisation not to agree in pricipal to a new multi purpose stadium is the GAA.

    I would be quite welcoming if all bodies where to share the stadium. What most right thinking sports people and business´s object to is it´s nonsense location at the Maze.

    Austin

    Again you show your ignorance… Northern Ireland attendances have been poor (but recently improving) over the last 15 years, there are of course many reasons for this..I have attended many matches with Catholics who have told me that they feel more Catholics would go if the games where not at Windsor Park, they also said that the stadium generally is not up to the comfort expected of an international venue.

    In 1996 UEFA rules meant that it was seating only at international matches. This of course reduced the capacity of Windsor Park to it´s current paltry 13500.

    Compare this to the capacity 28.000 for a match against England in 1988. So where you get the reduction in attendances for decades is beyond me.

    International football match attendances are governed by a number of factors such as how the team are performing, the class of the opposition and the comfport of the stadia. The later fact not being lost on the FAI who have after many years got their act together and made plans for a new stadium, remember it wasn´t so long ago that many ROI games where being played in front of miniscule crowds at Dalymount Park.

    For any stadia to be finacially viable it must be multi purpose, that´s why any new stadia should be offered to all sports bodies and other events, to make it profitable. You seem to find it funny to have Rock concerts in stadiums. Croke Park, Wembley Stadium and Milenium stadium have had concerts, even Casement Park hosts the occasional non sporting event as well.

    Now given that Ormeau Park is unacceptable to you and Vinty because of the thousands of “orange bigots” who inhabit in and near the park, what about Maysfield or maybe you would be concerned for non Nationalists having to walk past the markets and short strand.

    The city is the only location for a new stadium not a white elephant out in the sticks.

  • austin

    Bean Counter et al

    Again the simple fact of the matter remains that you are living in hope that, despite all the signs to the contrary, that Rugby will come on board and bail NI soccer out. This is because you know the NI soccer fans couldn’t fill the stadium if at all, then certainly not on a regular enough basis to make the cost of the venture a viable proposition.

    I also accept that I may have upset some people with my Motley Crue reference so I am happy to apologise for any upset caused.

    OK,Here goes-To all you Motley Crue fans out there-apologies for linking you to the Norn Iron fans/AKA The Village People!

  • Doctor Who

    Austin

    You are quite obviously not up to the debate and have resorted to trolling.

    You exemplify the problems faced for all of us who have no problems sharing a safe, modern and comfrortable new stadium in the heart of Belfast.

  • Bean Counter

    Austin said
    “And Rugby sports don’t want or need a new stadium ….”

    And he was wrong!!!

    “Rugby will come on board and bail NI soccer out”

    Following on from the above, rugby needs a new stadium, football needs one, the tax-payer pays for it, who’s bailing out whom in that little scenario?
    (I’ve only excluded GAA from the statement because I’ve no idea what their grassroots think and I wouldn’t have the arrogance to talk about something I have no idea about)

    “This is because you know the NI soccer fans couldn’t fill the stadium if at all, then certainly not on a regular enough basis to make the cost of the venture a viable proposition.”

    Depends on the capacity. Obviously.

    “OK,Here goes-To all you Motley Crue fans out there-apologies for linking you to the Norn Iron fans/AKA The Village People!”

    Good one!

    Don’t give up the day job.

  • simon

    “In 1996 UEFA rules meant that it was seating only at international matches. This of course reduced the capacity of Windsor Park to it´s current paltry 13500.

    Compare this to the capacity 28.000 for a match against England in 1988. So where you get the reduction in attendances for decades is beyond me.”

    I suggest you refer to the link below to show the vast reduction in attendances over the period.

    5- 7000 average home gate during the 90’s.

  • simon
  • Realist

    A 25,000 seater stadium is adequate for the needs of the IFA and Ulster Branch.

    The Belfast proposal involves 0% of public funding.

    If the GAA want/need a 42,000 seater (which they insisted on to stay on board the Maze white elephant plan), let them get on with redeveloping Casement Park.

    Rugby happy, football happy and the GAA happy.

    Simon,

    All Northern Ireland games for the current European campaign are sold out (in advance).

    There are many fans unable to get tickets.

    In a new stadium in Belfast, with a modicum of success on the field, I would confidently predict that the team would play to a full house in a 25,000 capacity stadium regularly.

    We have absolutely no need for a 42,000 capacity stadium out of town.

    Put an end to the Maze white elephant farce now.

    Nobody needs it.

  • GavBelfast

    I think subsequent posts indicated that I wasn’t off the mark with my thoughts on the trolls who emerged from the mists.

    Ormeau Park becomes an even more attractive proposition for those of us who want to move forward if it also gets up the noses of petty and prejudiced dinosaurs who don’t.

  • willow

    The Ormeau embankment venue seems so attractive because unionism will have a new venue to host the 12th of July demonstration when they next decide to ‘throw the teddy bear in the corner’ over a re-routed orange parade.

    The dinosaurs of unionism and their fellow ‘no surrender’ ‘no taigs on our road’ supporters will be happy with a stadium free of ‘taig’ influence.

    No ‘beggars’? , taigs, or terrorists in OUR stadium !!!!

    Who are the dinosours again ???

  • Crataegus

    Here we have an opportunity for us all to benefit. We can provide a better facility for everyone to use or not use as they please. Because one group does not at present see need is no reason to begrudge another and indeed once up and running opinion may change.

    Some points;
    1 The arguments on usage are as valid for the Maze as for any alternative in Belfast.
    2 Ormeau is an interesting area with a rapidly changing population mix. There are the Republican areas of Markets, and Lower Ormeau on one side of the river and not far away is Short Strand. Lower Ravenhill is strongly Unionist but the developments in the area show that the area is changing and developments such as a stadium would help accelerate such change. The upper part of the Ravenhill is leafy and perfectly safe. Annadale flats are further up river, but I cannot over emphasise that the tone of this entire area is changing fast.

    There is absolutely no reason why a stadium in either the Maysfield site or Ormeau cannot be done in a manner that makes it accessible to ALL. This really is not a problem. Indeed if there were ancillary facilities it could be a much needed resource easily accessed by the surrounding inner city wards. It would also bring employment and encourage further development.

    We should be looking forward not back, and whilst we have to weigh up the pros and cons perhaps better to consider also the potential of a modern facility for sport, for ancillary use, for redevelopment and for the economy. It really is a major opportunity and we should ensure we both address the concerns and maximise the gain. It truly is a win win situation, there is no down side and everyone benefits including the many Nationalists who live in the immediate area. We should stop the petty squabbling and unite to end the nonsense site out at the Maze. On economic grounds (in my judgement) it is a non starter and on planning grounds it should never have been considered. It is only being proposed for political reasons and because the government owns the land and has a vested interest.

    The stadium should be in Belfast.

  • The Stout Bean Counter

    Excellent post Crataegus.

    “We should stop the petty squabbling and unite to end the nonsense site out at the Maze”

    That should be the first step and I think apart from the one or two silly nihilists who popped up on here, there is a genuine consensus amongst sports fans that the Maze ain’t the way forward.

    Once it’s been defeated, then it’ll be time to consider the other possibilities.

    willow/austin/vinty
    Are you only opposed to the Ormeau proposal?
    What are your suggestions for the way forward?

  • GavBelfast

    Seems to me the trolls have the same mind-set as those who (eventually) got their way with North of Ireland Cricket Club, by a variety of methods of “persuasion”.

    Not a (garrison) sport about the place, eh boys / girls?