DUP preparing to come down the side of the Maze?

As Pete noted yesterday, the DUP have now put all their (rolling) nominations into the public domain. Blogger Sarah Curran thinks there is something cooking out in the direction of the Maze, where the prospective Minister at DCAL has a strong local interest…

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  • accountability

    I think most of the comments on the Maze situation are somewhat superficial.

    Edwin Poots cant take a unilateral decision on the Maze issue – the accountability mechanisms mean that a decision of this magnitude, whether it is called in by other members or not, would require Executive assent. It will not be a single party, let alone a single person decision.

    Also, the automatic assumption that Poots = Lisburn = Maze stadium doesnt automatically go. Because Edwin Poots represents Lagan Valley he will no doubt be acutely aware that any decision to site a stadium at the Maze (if that happens) is likely to be percieved as a bit of ‘back-yarding’ and so make him liable to criticism.

    Therefore if he’s smart he will ensure that the decision making is as open as possible and that there has been proper examination of whatever options are there – lessening any possible negatives if it does so happen that the stadium goes to the Maze. The automatic assumption that he will just stick it in the Maze because he lives near it is just a bit too simplistic.

  • GavBelfast

    Accountability, Poots IS pro-Maze, personally and as a constituency politician. He’s virtually built his name on being pro-Maze.

    I agree, though, as a minister he can heardly be seen to be pushing a big, controversial project, which a vast number of other groups (economists, business people, sports fans and other politicians), as well as experience across these islands, Europe and further afield reject.

    Who knows what messy compromises and dodgy deals lie ahead in the SF-DUP carve-up that is the new Northern Ireland?

  • Johnny B Good

    The Maze is the best site for people living outside of Belfast. It offers the best road access and can be linked by rail

  • GavBelfast

    The Maze is the best site for people living outside of Belfast. It offers the best road access and can be linked by rail.
    Posted by Johnny B Good on Apr 17, 2007 @ 12:40 PM

    Here we go again …… yawn …….

    The Maze is the best site for people living outside …. its now bulldozed walls, but nowhere else.

    Aren’t the schools back?

  • another_pleb

    Lots of places (like airports) “can be linked by rail” but aren’t.

    There are a lot of people living in places North and West of Belfast who don’t fanch schlepping all the way to somewhere near Lisburn to watch a match.

    Lisburn is a bit of a hole, Christine Bleakley’s advertisements notwithstanding.

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    I’d say the Maze will be given the go ahead. Common sense will prevail. A stadium for all sports as well as a museum on the past conflict will be a financial winner plus a major benefit for both of the province’s main commuities.

  • It’s not even about whether or not Lisburn is a hole. That would only be an issue if the stadium was going to be in Lisburn – if only it was!!

    There’s going to be miles of greenfield between Lisburn and the stadium.

    The Maze is not more convenient for fans coming from Londonderry or Coleraine or anywhere up that direction, so the whole “outside Belfast” thing is rubbish.

    Getting there will be a huge headache on the one road in and out, but it’s still only half the problem.

  • Fed Up Ormeau Rate Payer

    I think the broad consensus regarding the stadium is that the small group of Belfast centric supporters from the minority sport of soccer should not be allowed to dictate to the rest of us where the thing is built. The parties have been elected to take these decisions on behalf of the whole community, and as a Belfast ratepayer who is already subsidising leisure facilities from outside the Belfast City Council area, I would certainly not be happy with the Ormeau Park being destroyed to build another monstrosity.

  • Johnny B Good

    At the Maze there is a proposal for a leisure village that will include cafes, restaurants, pubs and hotels.

    It is hoped to create jobs for about 5,000 people – so that there will be a regular activity at that site.

    There will probably be a village of between 1,000 to 1,500 homes – this is not a stadium in isolation to everything else.

    This type of development would not happen at Ormeau Park and anyone who thinks it would needs to “go back to school” themselves!!

  • iluvni

    “proposal”, “hoped”, “probably”….

    yeah right.

  • GavBelfast

    As I said on another thread, the mischievousness in me says go ahead and build it, for all the egg on face it will provide for its advocates.

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    Dunno why people are not more optimistic about the Maze proposal. The chance of NI having a reasonably sized modern stadium is a must. I’m sure NI soccer fans will fill it no prob, now that the team is doing well. Same too with the Rugby supporters as Ireland games will be staged there as well as the newly developed Lansdowne Road. And of course the GAA fans would only wish it’s capacity were bigger for the Ulster Finals and county clashes.

  • T.Ruth

    The Maze is the only viable option and can be a winner. Edwin Poots has always been pro Maze and would be acting rationally and impartially in siting the new MultiSport stadium there.

    Smaller stadia on a club or sport sharing basis can be built at various locations in the province to meet the needs of local clubs.

    The lack of positive leadership from some senior sports personalities,especially in the IFA in relation to the Maze project is noticeable.Popularity with the fans is not leadership.The fans are a fickle lot not always in possession of the information necessary for commercial judgement.. Windsor Park is not even viable in the long term as a EUFA club venue.The suits in the IFA should be cheer leaders for a new stadium big enough to generate a block booking revenue stream to support its programmes.The sponsorship potential is a major factor also.

    We have a lifetime opportunity to get a large 35,000 stadium that will bring the community together-a perfect demonstration of shared space. None of the other proposals are more than fanciful notions.

    Minister elect E.Poots is an independent thinker courageous enough to make principled decisions and will prove to be an excellent Minister for Sport/Arts Leisure and Culture. Perhaps also its time to change the title of DCAL to include Sports in its title to reflect the importance all parties attach to Sport..
    T.Ruth

  • GavBelfast

    You couldn’t make it up, T.Ruth.

    (Oops, you just did.)

    “… Ireland games will be staged there as well as the newly developed Lansdowne Road.”

    Evidence?

    Maybe you are private developers who will be prepared to put your money where your mouths are?

  • iluvni

    T.Ruth should change his name to D.Luded

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Is there something I’m missing? Why a 35,000 stadium? Makes it too big for most IFA and Ulster Rugby games & not big enough for Ulster GAA or the international rugby team. To get Ulster finals or intl rugby games it’s going to have to be 50,000+.

    Can either Ravenhill or Windsor be extended to 20-25,000 and cater for most Ulster rugby & IFA soccer? And make Casement (more space to extend than the other two?) 50,000 to attract bigger games?

  • marty (not ingram)

    T.Ruth should change his name to D.Luded

    Or E.Poots

  • PeaceandJustice

    Why is a DUP Minister so keen to build a shrine to terrorism at the Maze? Poots should get out a bit more and visit other stadiums across the British Isles. The example that is often quoted is the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff – close to shops, restaurants, pubs, train station etc. Just because the Maze is Government owned land doesn’t make it the best place to build a stadium. Poots needs to start acting for the good of the whole of Northern Ireland instead of just his back yard.

  • Doctor Who

    Belfast has the transport infrastructures, the Hotel space, a vibrant atmosphere, and is the biggest population centre in Northern Ireland.

    The Maze has cows.

  • BP1078

    As I said on another thread, the mischievousness in me says go ahead and build it, for all the egg on face it will provide for its advocates.

    Yes, go on Edwin, dare you…

  • Lisburn Resident

    “The Maze has cows”

    Some think there is a lot of potential there, look at this company’s website

    http://www.diversitec.co.uk/maze.php

    Diversitec’s Managing Director, Mr R. Poots,/strong> will be hoping to get a positive decision from Edwin Poots sooner rather than later.

  • marty (not ingram)

    Lisburn Resident,
    What’s the relation between the two Poots? More than a mere coincidence I assume?

    BTW, the marketing blurb on the link that you provided is complete cobblers. “These elements will be linked with Irelands Atlantic Seaport neighbours, Great Britain, Portugal, Spain and France, making the Maze site a new centre of the isles, creating a holistic nucleus for cultural exchange.”

    They forgot to add “so it will” at the end of the last sentence.

  • Lisburn Resident

    marty
    “What’s the relation between the two Poots? More than a mere coincidence I assume?”

    The other Ingram would probably answer that with a ding ding.

    But they work well together-

    Laganside Rural Development Ltd

    Robert Poots: Chairman
    Edwin Poots : Treasurer

  • david

    The Maze is a great idea and will make a great sporting & entertanment complex, free from all the sectarianism of Belfast & a new & safe environment for all.

    Why is it only unionist football supporters who post on this thread in opposition ?

  • GavBelfast

    The Maze is a great idea and will make a great sporting & entertanment complex, free from all the sectarianism of Belfast & a new & safe environment for all.
    Why is it only unionist football supporters who post on this thread in opposition ?
    Posted by david on Apr 17, 2007 @ 11:43 PM

    I was going to ask the same thing about sock-puppets, ‘David’.

  • Aquifer

    Does Mr Poots’ entry in the Assembly register of interests say anything about interests in land near the Maze?

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    Don’t such remarks by Peace & Justice and GavBelfast belong to the bad old days. You folk don’t happen to be in your 70’s or 80’s?
    So much for optimism and co-operation!

    Lighten up folks, let go a bit and live a little.

  • Roger as

    Oh Dear , Poor old Edwin.. Not only getting all the stick here but i see that some nasty has had a god at his Wikki … don’t laugh.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwin_Poots

  • Roger

    that should be “had a go”

  • GavBelfast

    Don’t such remarks by Peace & Justice and GavBelfast belong to the bad old days. You folk don’t happen to be in your 70’s or 80’s?
    So much for optimism and co-operation!

    Lighten up folks, let go a bit and live a little.

    Posted by Gréagóir O’ Frainclín on Apr 18, 2007 @ 09:51 AM

    You and other pro-Maze cheerleaders seem very ‘thick’ on the promise and shallow, Blairesque good-news of this idea, but decidely thin on how it can possibly be a success, given the peer experience on such ventures.

    The secrecy (eg refusual to show a business plan or to release information under Freedom of Information) only adds to the conclusion that this venture is rotten to the core.

    I don’t have any problem at all with various sporting bodies sharing facilities, never have. That others could say the same. However, I don’t think politics should directly interfere with sport. If it’s all about the sports coming together, perhaps we should go the whole hog and have compromise rules and have all the teams on the pitch at the same time. It’s nonsense.

    I see no way how this can be sustained – sure, it could be built with a fortune in public money, but it wil be a flop, and I’d rather the money wasn’t wasted when it could be spent on better causes.

    When the private sector (and I don’t mean private builders who will benefit whrever a stadium, etc, is built) starts falling over itself to put serious money of its own at the Maze project, I’ll admit defeat.

    Finally, to those who like to look South, perhaps we should take from the experince there: Croke Park, virtually rebuilt in its urban environment to be a stunning success, and Lansdowne Road, being rebuilt within walking distance of the city and all the attractions and diversions the city provides. The Bertie Bowl: rejected as the expensive flop it would have. All good decisions, and lessons we should learn by doing what’s good and right for sport and the wider economy, tourism, etc, and rejecting ill-thought out vanity projects.

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    Gav, I bet the Maze stadium will be built and you yourself will eat your own words when paying your first ever visit to cheer on the NI soccer or Ulster rugby teams (and could I even dare say the Ireland rugby team). Times are a changing, go with the flow. Embrace the change!

    The George Best tribute match will need a fitting venue too!

  • BP1078

    Gréagóir O’ Frainclín,

    “I bet the Maze stadium will be built”

    Unless you have been given access to the business and feasibility plans denied to the rest of the population, I don’t know why you are so confident—you don’t work for the NIO do you by any chance, or are you actually Robert Poots in disguise??

  • GavBelfast

    No persuasive, well-founded argument from you on how this can possibly be viable then, Greagoir. That’s par for the course!

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    It looks so viable. A 35,000 seater stadium for all plus a history of conflict museum for all to learn. No doubt appartment, shops, hotels, etc…will be part of the scheme too. It will be a neat little earner for the province and an attraction locals and tourists alike.. Whats the alternative then…a meagre 20,000 or less seater stadium for soccer only. Kinda hints of attitudes of the old times.

    Who know’s, but maybe Ireland (NI and the Republic)and Scotland could put a bid in to host the Euro finals again; maybe in 2016. Poland and the Ukraine have just been awarded the 2012 finals. Probably you would be against that too.

  • GavBelfast

    You know, these attempts to portray people who oppose this Maze business as being in the past, yesterday’s people, etc, are condescending in the extreme, wide of the mark and simply not good enough. It’s a ‘Year Zero’ mentality that says more about the accusers than it does of those they are criticising.

    Who is going to go to all of these shops, pubs, restaurants, etc, when there’s no match on? It sounds like a Craigavon for the 21st century, only with less roundabouts.

    I don’t have any problem, either, in telling the story of the Troubles and the background to them, but why mix it all up with sport, and why there? Why not somewhere accessible IN one of our cities? (Maybe even the ‘Crum’?)

    These out-of-town things just don’t work! Why waste probably hundreds of millions of pounds/Euro to show that, when we could go with the peer experience across these islands and build something everyone can use and that has an excellent chance of working and paying for itself.

    The Maze was a good location for a prison – Magilligan east of the Bann you could say. Ever thought why?

    When there’s a full and viable business plan on the table, the secrecy stops and it’s been shown that other options have been fairly examined and given a chance, and when I see the private sector falling over itself to get involved, you might have a convert.

  • iluvni

    oh ffs, now we are going to be building it to host the Euro Championships in 2016 next, not just a UEFA cup final and Botswana v Canada in the Olympic football tournamnet.
    Whoopey-doo….
    It just gets better and better. Cant wait…

  • IJP

    Gréagóir

    Hosting Euro 2016 is not as completely ludicrous as others have made out.

    It’s one which would, frankly, be easier if we had an all-Ireland team, of course. I doubt UEFA would want more than two members playing host.

    But actually, there are six stadia in Scotland close enough to standard to be renovate-able to Championship standard.

    Realistically, that leaves us in NI needing to produce two – how about one at the Maze and one suspended on top of City Hall or wherever the City Centre supporters are proposing?

    Aim high and you never just know. After all, Portugal managed to host Euro2004 alone… and Greece managed to win it!

  • willowfield

    The DUP need the stadium as cover for their acquiescence to the Terrorist Memorial.

  • Down here

    The Ormeau Park idea is ludicrous. I’ve been travelling to Windsor from Killinchy for 15 years and that journey’s bad enough. Build it at The Maze and give the vast majority of fans a chance to get home quickly after the game.If it’s built at Ormeau, the City Centre and main arterial routes out of Town will be log-jammed for hours before and after games.The team is called Northern Ireland not Greater Belfast, for God’s sake!

  • Realist

    “If it’s built at Ormeau, the City Centre and main arterial routes out of Town will be log-jammed for hours before and after games”

    Arterial routes (several) in and out of Belfast in all directions, as oppossed to the arterial route (singular) to and from the White Elephant?

    Mmmm – great!

  • John East Belfast

    Down here

    “Build it at The Maze and give the vast majority of fans a chance to get home quickly after the game”

    The vast majority of NI fans dont live south west of Belfast.

    There would be several ways to approach the Ormeau Park and at some stage you would park your car and walk.

    A 35,000 stadium is bad for Norn Iron soccer and a project at the Maze is bad for Belfast hospitality industry.

    Both of these are bad for Northern Ireland itself.

    The idea of some kind of shrine to the Hunger Strikers is sickening in itself and for that reason alone any true unionist would not touch the proposal with the proverbial 40 footer.

    That all of the above is lost on the DUP does not surprise me.

  • down here

    Realist, are you seriously trying to suggest that journeys to an Ormeau Park site (through an already grid-locked city) would be easier than to a stand alone out-of-town venue serviced by a Motorway , By-passes and an improved road structure?
    If this is the basis for your argument in favour of the Ormeau venue, then you have alrady lost.

  • down here

    ‘The idea of some kind of shrine to the Hunger Strikers is sickening in itself and for that reason alone any true unionist would not touch the proposal with the proverbial 40 footer.’

    JEB,
    Why do you wish to use your personal political views as the sole basis on which to determine the choice of location for a stadium which is supposed to be for supporters from all religous + political backgrounds to go to watch sport.

    You are a throwback to the old stereotypical loyalist bigoted NI fan that we are told doesn’t exist any more.-Aye right….

  • John East Belfast

    down here

    “Why do you wish to use your personal political views as the sole basis… ”

    Did you actually read my post or somebody else’s ?

    “You are a throwback to the old stereotypical loyalist bigoted NI fan that we are told doesn’t exist any more.-Aye right”

    As you have insulted me please tell me what part of my post above can cause you to have such an opinion ?

  • Realist

    Down here,

    “are you seriously trying to suggest that journeys to an Ormeau Park site (through an already grid-locked city) would be easier than to a stand alone out-of-town venue serviced by a Motorway , By-passes and an improved road structure?”

    You live in Killinchy right?

    Talk me through this one.

    Northern Ireland game at the White Elephant – Wednesday evening 8pm kick off.

    You want to avail of one of the classy restaurants we’re promised at the White Elephant pre match – you book a table for 6.30PM.

    Given that all the commuter traffic is leaving Belfast (not going into it), what time are you leaving Killinchy?

    Be great, wouldn’t it?

    PS. What happens if there’s an accident on the M1?

  • GavBelfast

    I’ve a hunch that Down Here may be a good example of the type of fellow that has prompted many on this site to call for the inclusion of IP addresses alongside comments.

    Just a hunch ….

    Anyone else see the BBC Newsline’s exclusive promotion for the Maze late night, masquerading as serious news? Investigative journalism and critical reporting, my arse.

  • seanzmct

    Gav in ‘shock BBC Newsline are trolls’ expose.

    Keep taking the paranoid pills mate….

  • GavBelfast

    Sean,

    My thought is that media organisations are generally serving the public better if they report and analyse news, rather than act as PR consultants for a given line on a story in return for ‘exclusives’.

    Each to their own, some people are the swallowing kind.

    😉

  • down there

    ‘Given that all the commuter traffic is leaving Belfast (not going into it), what time are you leaving Killinchy? ‘

    Realist, To be at the Maze at 6.30, I could easily do the journey in 35 minutes, via Saintfield.
    I repeat if you are tring to argue that it would be quicker and easier for the majority of our fans to get to the Ormeau Park than to the Maze, then you are being unrealistic.
    Even for fans travelling from the Londonderry and Coleraine, it is much quicker to get to the Maze rather than being caught in massive jams coming off the M3 at Bridge End. Have you seen what’s its like there when 5,000 people are trying to get into the Odyssey never mind 35,000 rushing to get into the Ormeau Park.
    I feel that there is a bullying undertone by the Anti -Maze lobby against the many thousands of fans of all sports who want the stadium built at the Maze. There is a need on their part for a bit more tolerance of the views of their fellow supporters who are perfectly entitled to a different view.

  • Realist

    Down There,

    This is the view of the Amalgamation of Official Northern Ireland Supporters Clubs on the transport issue.

    “Roads Service is already spending £30-50million upgrading roads in the area whether the stadium goes ahead or not. It isn’t an extra cost”

    Tony Whitehead, SIB

    The Belfast Metropolitan Transport Plan (BMTP) and The Regional Strategic Transport Network Transport Plan (RSTNTP) set out what will be needed and what is desired for transport in the Greater Belfast area. Both focus on the need for more integrated transport and for the need for people to have more travel options, e.g. walking and cycle routes.

    What’s transport like to Belfast?

    The M1, M2, M3, M5 and major ‘A roads’ all meet in central Belfast. All rail lines lead to Belfast. More bus routes facilitate Belfast than anywhere else in Northern Ireland. Two airports and the sea port also serve the city. Belfast truly is the transport hub for Northern Ireland.

    And to the Maze?

    The Maze was a good location for a prison. In a rural location, 3km from the nearest city, it lies beside the M1 but has no junction onto it. With no rail link (and none planned) it will rely on visitors coming by car or coach and the need for a junction to be added.

    How much will transport upgrades cost?

    Any junction will cost around £20million and is not included in the current Roads Service construction plans.Tony Whitehead also said that a link road was to be constructed, which would enable greater access to the site from the North West. Again, this road is only dependent on private development in the area and “(private) developers will be responsible for funding the scheme either in full or in a very substantial part”. This is estimated at £11.8million and the cost will have to be met by the developer.

    For a stadium at the Maze then, additional road infrastructure will cost at least another £30million – is this to be added to the £85million that it is costing so far taking the cost beyond £115million? Roads Service is not spending this money already as Mr. Whitehead claimed. Also, these roads costs are only estimates at a 2003 level – the actual cost may be much higher by the time development starts in 2007.

    In contrast, proposed locations in Belfast are already well served by road, rail and bus. The City Airport is 1km from the Titanic Quarter; 2km from Maysfield and Ormeau Park; and approximately 4km from the North Foreshore.

    The Port of Belfast is even closer as are rail and bus interchanges. Any transport upgrades for Belfast already have budgets allocated, including the widening of the Sydenham Bypass to three lanes in either direction, making that site even more plausible.

    How will we get to the Maze?

    The Regional Development Strategy states that in 1999, 30% of the population did not have a car – with public transport non-existent to the Maze, how are any of these people supposed to get there?

    It is unlikely that public transport will bring people to the Maze without going via Belfast or other neighbouring transport hubs. Will buses depart from the Maze stadium after a midweek match to the furthest corners of the province? If people have to connect via Belfast etc, it may be too late to get home if they live far away.

    The Government has highlighted the need for greater access to major facilities for pedestrians and cyclists. These would exist in Belfast but it is very hard to see how pedestrians will access the Maze site without a long journey beforehand.

    Even if public transport is arranged to the Maze, it cannot get 40,000 people to a single site outside Belfast. With trains running 2-3km away, scores of buses would be needed to take fans to the stadium site. Add these to the thousands trying to get into the site in cars and mass congestion is sure to follow. Leaving afterwards will be a similar nightmare and visions of mile long queues of cars can evoke the ‘tail-gate’ culture at out-of-town US stadiums.

    Government transport policy actively encourages alternatives to private car use. The new stadium proposal runs contrary to this.

    ‘But it’s only the same distance as Trafalgar Square is to Wembley!’

    The major difference is that Wembley is not in a rural location with one main road in and one out. It is well served by multiple road, rail and bus routes. London is a large metropolis with a long history of staging major events and handling huge volumes of traffic and people. Few cities in the world can cope with events such as the Olympics, but London’s recent successful tender highlights it’s preeminence amongst cities globally. To compare a regional city is facetious.

    As for Wembley, if the example is being given by Government, why aren’t we getting the same level of public transport investment?

  • Realist

    (Cont)

    To facilitate the journeys of spectators, £70m is being invested to ensure visitors to Wembley can move smoothly and safely to and from the stations. There will be 100 trains moving 37,500 people per hour on event days.

    The Government is not planning for this here. The RSNTP allocates £10.1million for inter city bus routes until 2015. This is for all of Northern Ireland yet it is only a fraction of the money being spent to bring 21st Century public transport to the new stadium at Wembley.

  • down there

    but it’s still only half an hour from Killinchy, Realist…

    As you are well aware the Ormeau and Ravenhill Roads are gridlocked in both directions from The City Centre right up to Carryduff from 04.30pm until 06.30pm every workday evening. Add into the mix the small matter of 35,000 fans descending on this area and you will see how futile an idea this is.
    No-one is saying the Maze is a perfect location but the Ormeau idea is delusionist thinking of the highest order.

  • willowfield

    but it’s still only half an hour from Killinchy,

    In other words: the Maze is nearer my home therefore I want the stadium to be at the Maze.

    How will it only take 35 mins to get to the Maze when there will be thousands of others all travelling there at the same time by car, and all coming off at the same exit to travel down the same slip road?

    In Belfast, many people will walk or use public transport. At Maze, everyone will drive.

    In Belfast, traffic is dispersed along many routes. At Maze, all traffic is on one route.

    In Belfast, people will enter the city early and leave late, in order to go to pubs and restaurants.

    At Maze, everyone will arrive for the match and leave immediately afterwards as there will be nothing else to do at the site.

    Use your head.

  • John East Belfast

    downthere

    “There is a need on their part for a bit more tolerance of the views of their fellow supporters who are perfectly entitled to a different view.”

    very noble but I see you have neither retracted nor defended your insult of me last night – therefore your statement above rings hollow to me.

    The closest I got to a justification of the Maze from an individual involved in the review project was that the site was the only one in NI that represented 20 affordable acres.

    It didnt seem to dawn on him that a Belfast site did not need 20 acres for car parking and the other entertainment structure etc they are proposing.

    All we need in Belfast is a stadium and sufficient parking for coaches.

    The very fact that they wont publish the feasability study on the project only highlights to anyone with half an ounce of common sense that the whole project stinks and has been concocted by a combination of politicians with their another agenda and fools

  • Ian

    Couldn’t the former Maze site be sold off for private housing and the proceeds go to upgrading the water and sewer systems, thus avoiding the need for the controversial ‘tap tax’?

  • will

    A new stadium in Belfast should be resisted by all.

    Belfast does not have a modern up to date infastructure, its antiquated road and rail system cannot cope with an influx of people.

    Belfasy rush ‘hour’ lasts for 2 hours in the morning/evening because the road system can’t cope.

    12000 in Ravenhill stops the whole of South Belfast, with nothing moving for hours.

    A lane closure on the m2 forces the whole city to close down.

    Belfast cannot cope with a major influx of people, the Maze is by far the best option.

    The football crowd will have to save up and buy a car.

  • Anything that keeps those obnoxious Northern Ireland fans well away from the city centre is fine by me…

  • willowfield

    Will

    If you think Belfast – with dozens of roads and 3 railways – can’t cope, how on earth will the Maze manage with 1 road and no railway?

  • Donnie

    Having read throught his and other threads, I feel it’s time that a non/Belfast N.ireland supporter should give his opinion.

    It seems to me that those who argue on here for the Maze proposal do so for one of two reasons>

    1.Isn’t it a lovely idea, yet another step on the road to conflict resolution.
    2.If the orange/UVF/prod/NI bastards don’t want the Maze, then we do(see macswiney’s comment above).

    Those with the second opinion are going to get a nasty shock if their wish comes true. the GAWA are not going to disappear, even if we end up with a Maze Stadium; the stadium will be shared by all three sports…you may even end up sitting beside one of us-probably time to start getting those injections now.

    Those holding the first opinion have a point.
    It is a nice idea that we could all share a new purpose built stadium and to be honest, a country the NI probably only needs one such stadium, not the three plus we currently have.

    So, no problem with sharing.
    But those who argue fROm the basis of the first point have done nothing to convince me regarding the actual practicalities of such a venture.

    They are asked questions:

    1.About the limited to non-existant public transport possibilities
    2.How the Maze project will deal with all those cars travelling up the one access road.
    3.Entertainment infrastructure. Who will be servicing the promised restaurants and bars for 90% of the year when there is no match on?
    4.Why the NIO has refused access under the Freedom of Information act to data regarding the proposed scheme.

    They don’t answer the questions, but come back with the “ock, yes, but wouldn’t it be lovely…” line. Not good enough, I’m afraid when the future health of all our sports is on the line.

    Private investors (with one or two notable exceptions) have expressed very little interest in the project- that should be ringing alarm bells if nothing else does.

    Other possibilities?

    I really don’t know, there is no perfect option, but I believe that the national stadium should be in our capital, the problems mentioned above with the Maze/Long kesh project do not exist in Belfast, or at least, can be dealt with more easily or cheaply.

    For the record, before anyone jumps down my throat, I don’t believe the Ormeau Park is an ideal option. I, along with many other NI supporters have had our cars and buses regularly stoned passing the Markets area; in order to access the Ormeau stadium we would need to pass through two or three more other flashpoint areas (lower Ormeau, Short Strand etc)- that risk is too great in my opinion.
    Also, I do believe that the stadium should be built for all three sports, I’m not convinced the Ormeau project could facilitate that.

  • Donnie,

    I think you should apologise unreservedly for your disgraceful ‘interpretation’ of my comments.
    You state:

    “If the orange/UVF/prod/NI bastards don’t want the Maze, then we do(see macswiney’s comment above).”

    My comment actually was as follows:

    “Anything that keeps those obnoxious Northern Ireland fans well away from the city centre is fine by me…”

    To attribute or in some way ‘link’ foul language coupled with comments about the UVF/Orange to me when I actually said NO such thing is quite shocking. You cannot claim that you were using some sort of journalistic licence either because I neither said or meant anything even remotely related to the comment which you apportioned to me.

    I simply meant that sections of the 12,000 or so NI fans behave in an appalling way in and around the city centre each time they play at Windsor. I recall a number of them giving horrendous abuse to a young girl (aged no more than 12 or 13)who was wearing a Celtic jersey in Donegall Place before the recent game against Sweden. Clearly “Sport for all” has someway to go amongst a sectarian section of your support who unfortunately still frequent Windsor Park…

  • Realist

    The Amalgamation of Official NISCs

    NEWS RELEASE
    FOR RELEASE FRIDAY 20th APRIL 2007 – NO EMBARGO

    FOOTBALL FANS URGE IFA TO ESTABLISH “STADIUM WORKING GROUP”

    The Amalgamation of Official NISCs has urged the Irish Football Association to set up a working group to look at issues relating to the future of football in Northern Ireland.

    During a presentation to the IFA’s Executive Committee on Thursday night, the supporters group set out their concerns regarding the current Government proposals to develop a Multi-Sports Stadium at the site of the former Maze Prison and also called for the creation of a focus group to look at the National Stadium question along with other issues that are likely to have an impact on football in Northern Ireland.

    Speaking after the meeting, the AONISC Press Officer, Gary McAllister said: “The Amalgamation is pleased to have been given the opportunity to meet with, and present our arguments to, the Executive Committee of the Irish Football Association. During the course of Thursday night’s discussions, our representatives set out our position and articulated our concerns with regard to how the Government intends to invest in football and the sporting infrastructure in Northern Ireland, particularly in relation to the Maze proposals.”

    Mr. McAllister added: “The Amalgamation delegation also put forward a proposal that the IFA should establish a working group to look at the National Stadium issue and other related matters. We believe that such a focus group would allow the wider ‘football family’ to look, in a collective manner, at the key issues which are likely to effect Northern Ireland football in the short, medium and longer terms. We will continue to pursue this proposal with the Chief Executive and the Executive Committee of the Irish FA to consider how it can best be taken forward.”

    ENDS

  • Realist

    I see PSF are now threatening a boycott of the Maze.

  • tollme

    A couple of toll booths will pay for the road structures, slugger should have a vote maze or belshaft.

  • DK

    Being out of town will make it a more family friendly venue as it will take some planning to get to and can be policed effectively if isolated. These are considerations for the politicians who may have public order as a priority (e.g. a whole batch of partisan fans marching through the various interfaces into Belfast centre after a match).