Casement Park is a vanity project. Someone needs to stop the madness…

The Irish News reports today that plans for a Park & Ride for the new Casement Park at the old Maze site can’t be approved without a Stormont Executive.

You might be thinking, hold on a minute, they want to put a Park & Ride where they originally wanted to build the stadium?? So you drive to the Maze site, park your car, wait for the shuttle bus to arrive, traipse into Belfast on the bus, get off, watch the match, then repeat the process to go back to your car. All this will add say 1.5-2hours to your journey time.

Here is a crazy idea: why not build the actual stadium where people have parked their cars? Park your car and dander for 5 mins to the stadium. Am I missing something?

The Casement Park redevelopment plans have been a complete farce from the beginning. Residents don’t want it, it’s not safe, and the new Kennedy Way Junction is a mess as it is without adding 10,000 extra cars into the mix. And already they have spent over 9 million on it without turning a sod of earth. The old park was never at capacity anyway; the GAA could have done a revamp on what they had and saved themselves a lot of hassle. There is also the question of why the GAA did not keep using Casement until they had complete confirmation that the new redevelopment was going ahead? It was not so long ago that they installed new lights and a new media centre.

When you consider that Ravenhill was redeveloped for 20 million, you really have to question is the 77 million budget for Casement Park really value for money? For a stadium that will be used a handful of days a year? Are the Audit Office looking into this mess?

The current Casement proposals are mired in legal limbo, and as we know in Northern Ireland, these issues never get resolved. John Lewis at Sprucefield anyone?

The land Casement Park is on is prime residential land. The GAA should just flog it and build the new park on a brownfield site. It is meant to be an Ulster Stadium, so why would it not be in Dungannon or somewhere more central? Tyrone loves its GAA. I am sure they would welcome a lovely shiny new stadium.

Or scrap the mega stadium plans, spend 20 million revamping Casement and use the 50million to revamp GAA facilitates across NI. There is a concern out there that the GAA is attempting to professionalise the sport to the detriment of its amateur ethos. Selling rights to Sky, massive sponsorship deals with drinks companies, dubious property deals. I am not anti GAA, they are a fantastic sports organisation that is the lynchpin of many a local community but money corrupts. I would rather see money being spent at the ground level so all players get a boost.

Casement Park is a vanity project. Someone needs to stop the madness.


  • You should be anti-GAA. Just as you should be against IFA and FAI, and IRFU.
    Follow the lgic in some of the piubts you have raised above.
    Casement development is not a ‘vanity’ project. It is a further step in the GAA lust for profit, and its bureaucratic oppression of lical communities.
    Most local GAA officials are, little, pond life. Looking to be big fish, and all the gains to be made from.that. The most ambitous are the most vicious. Fighting to break into the national clique.
    Casement is designed to be a huge money spinner, and an accomplished fact on the ground.
    Local residents are certainly in the sights of the GAA for ‘re-lication’.
    Cynicism runs spirts. Never mind all the ‘community’ and ‘Irish’ guff.

  • hollandia

    Yep. Move it out of the city. Move windsor and ravenhill while we’re at it. Sure cities don’t need fit for purpose stadia these days.

    Yep, put it at the maze where there is no tangible benefit to the local economies from match days. No rubgy world cup fans spending their money in the city, no big GAA games (the ulster football final would certainly be held at Casement), no GAA qualifiers, no potential to hold big events such as concerts. No australians coming to International rules matches. Yeah, lets kill at birth a project that can bring tangible benefits to a run down area of the city. Good thinking.

  • mickfealty

    I was at the last Casement Ulster final in 71 I think. It’s a great spot, it just needs tabbing down in scale a bit. Nationalism it seems has to wait for everything. However, in this case, it’s as much to do with big numbers and a fear that if it goes back in the pot it won’t get used other GAA specific projects.

  • Easóg

    You do get the impression that CLG is a massive money making organisation. They take advantage of the people’s love for the sport and their willingness to stay out in all weathers voluntarily to gather vast amounts of cash and then dictate from the top down. The Irish/nationalist element that support them through thick and thin are taken for granted. I think the leadership forget that the CLG was founded with dual progress language and sport.

  • The intention is to use Casement for concerts. At central point on the motorway nexus. Other uses will also be in the secret plans.
    GAA, FAI et al are INTIMATELY enmeshed with the corporate oligarchy of business.

  • Neil

    One wonders where this voice of reason was when Linfield’s ground was being developed. Let’s take a look at the issues raised:

    Attendance at the average Linfield game – 2,500
    Traffic issues? Boucher Road. Enough said.
    Prime residential land? Check.

    As to the park and ride idea, where’s the park and ride for Windsor? If it takes you 2 hours to get from the Maze to Andytown (18 minutes with current traffic) you need a new car.

    Why does this seem like just another Unionist deciding that once they’ve banked their goodies coming up with a reason to prevent Nationalists getting what has already been agreed to?

  • Jeff

    Not everything g is the fault of unionists Neil, how you get from the gaa making a horlicks of casement to it be i g the fault of unionists is breathtaking

  • Neil

    You need to work on your logic there Jeff. I didn’t say anything was the fault of Unionists. Try again.

  • Brian O’Neill

    If you talk to many of the traders next to casement (as I have) they will tell you they get very little benefit from match days. Fans come in for the match then feck of home.

    If fact many traders dread match days as it stops their normal customers getting in.

    The westwood shopping centre where asda is located used to block their entrance during match days to stop GAA fans parking there and taking spaces away from paying customers.

  • Brian O’Neill

    Indeed. The residents main concern is large concerts in a residential area. Vital in boucher road is a pain enough.

  • Jeff

    Why does this seem like just another Unionist deciding that once they’ve banked their goodies coming up with a reason to prevent Nationalists getting what has already been agreed to?

    You brought unionists into it Neil,

  • Neil

    You suggested I was blaming Unionists for the ‘horlicks of Casement’. I said no such thing. Feel free to make some kind of argument against what I actually said, if you like.

  • Ciarán

    The third largest stadium in Europe (+50,000 when compared with proposed Casement) is surrounded on all sides by residential housing with virtually zero parking facilities, worse access to motorway infrastructure and zero shuttle-bus services. Likewise, Drumcondra is incomparably worse for traffic than Kennedy Way. Yet, by some miracle, it functions perfectly well and acts as a significant revenue generator for the northside. Please let’s not be hysterical about Casement.

    If the traders surrounding Casement don’t see any potential for their businesses then more fool them. Clones traders grasp Ulster Final day with both hands; it represents the apex of their commercial year. They’d sorely like St Tiernach’s to host finals indefinitely.

    With regards to your final paragraph (a barely concealed descent into GAA-bashing, perhaps to cynically provoke some discussion): grass-roots Gaels in Antrim are crying out for Casement to be built; it would increase the profile of the codes in the county, particularly in Belfast and provide a massive boost to all clubs through the increased revenue generated. A rising tide lifts all boats. It’s not some sort of GAA élite conspiracy.

  • hgreen

    The dubs fill croke park regularly. It’s filled for concerts. Casement was hardly ever filled and the proposed new stadium will stand empty all year.

    I agree that the GAA needs a new stadium in Ulster but I agree with the author that it’s time to look again at the location.

  • hgreen

    The vast majority of GAA fans will be travelling from outside Belfast. Many footy and rugby fans walk or get the bus.

  • You have raised an importtant point! Unintentionally!
    Just how safe are Croke Park and the Aviva, and Windsor and Ravenhill?
    Also, the build quality of Croke Park is very poor. Multi-millions, mostly from the state, spent on what?
    Croke Park has been bulldozing the wishes of local residents for years, including local community centre.
    There is relentless propaganda about he GAA. Wrapping a green flag and a supposed community blanket around the GAA hides its reactionary ethos.
    Regarding all the sport bureaucracies: children are brutalised, bullying, favouritism and careerism are their essence. Of coursr there are many individuals who try to follow a sporting philisophy, in the sense that the GAA, FAI, IFA and IRFU hijack.
    But these honest individuals the show!
    The revolt by locals aganst atrocious Garth Brooks megabucks roadshow revealed a glimpse of the anger actually felt towards the GAA. That anger is not articulated.
    It is suppressed by all sides of official society.
    What of the head traumas to children and youth in Rugby?
    What of the unending emotional battering on young people by the cynicism in official and professional sport?
    One should not be naive.
    See these organisatiobs for what they are. And imagine a society, and sport, free of them.

  • Mimi Balguerie

    Ugh. The old park was never at capacity because Clones is Ulster’s premier GAA ground, and it doesn’t have sufficient capacity and is in dire need of redevelopment or replacement. Yes, the Maze would have been the better site for access etc, if you’re starting from a blank sheet. However both Antrim and Ulster are in dire need of a new stadium, and they already own Casement. I daresay the GAA is also trying to use the project to foster another urban GAA culture, given how beneficial the popularity of the game in Dublin is to their bank balance. On that note, I’d never swap the atmosphere of Jones’ road and Croke Park for a soulless out-of-town stadium on a car park. And similarly, I didn’t see the same reservations expressed for the redevelopment of Pairc Ui Chaoimh, announced after the Casement redevelopment and completed before work in Belfast has even started. Cork city and county seem justifiably thrilled with it.

    It’s never clear where this “build it in Tyrone” attitude comes from, but it comes across as “if you’re going to build it, don’t build it near me!”. Both Dungannon and Cookstown have been previously suggested – but its not clear what logic is behind either when Tyrone already have a plush stadium in Omagh that holds over 18,000 people. Are people unaware that Healy Park exists? If building Casement, for a county that currently doesn’t have an adequate county ground, is a vanity project, what on earth could you say for building a second premium stadium in a county with a much smaller population and already flush with resources.

    If Casement wasn’t going to go ahead, it would have been nice to have known in advance so the GAA could have redeveloped Clones and build a small, modern stadium of 8,000 capacity or so for Antrim’s purposes – maybe two, one in Belfast and the other in Ballycastle. I’d have much preferred that. But we are where we are, and I’m very much a fan of Casement and its location. Yes, you can say it is a vanity project, but the thing is – from Croke Park to “Centres of Excellence” to every club dolling up their clubhouses, the GAA loves vanity projects, and does them very well. One could never accuse them of lack of pride or ambition.

  • hollandia

    Well, the experience of Clones vs Casement is a no brainer. (I’ve actually played in both stadia in club matches). In 1992 (happy to say I was still at school) I attended the Ulster semi in Casement between Derry and Down with close to 40k people in the ground most of whom were standing on what was then a grass bank. No significant issues arose out of traffic then. Been to similar games in Casement in the recent past with a more modest crowd 10k to 15k and been on the M1 within 15 minutes of the final whistle.

    I’ve been to many ulster finals in Clones and its a nightmare. A mile walk at least if you’re lucky (and I live in the vicinity, nearly not worth driving at all).

    As regards the pot, you make a good case. But this is something the GAA do themselves. Ask yourself why it is that Clones is the only county ground in ulster that does not have floodlights?

    Secondly, if you have a fit for purpose stadium, it will be used. The choice is simple, have provincial finals in the provincial capital , or have them in a difficult to access sleepy backwater.

  • hgreen

    It’s a pity the land at casement couldn’t be sold and used to purchase a site in the Titanic quarter which would be an ideal location for a stadium and large concert venue.

  • Brian O’Neill

    Firstly can I say all excellent points, well argued.

    If you were starting with a clean sheet of paper Tyrone is the obvious place to put a new stadium. It has good access for all of Ulster (the real Ulster with Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan)

    If you look at the history of Ulster finals people are mostly travelling from Tyrone, Donegal, Armagh and Derry.

    From a Gaelic culture perspective Tyrone was where the high kings of Ulster were crowned, so has more a claim of being the spiritual home of GAA in Ulster than Belfast ever will:

    As for Casement, it had a capacity of 32,000 but was very rarely ever filled. You have to conclude that the main goal of the new Casement Park is for the GAA to get a cash cow concert venue on the cheap.

    As for atmosphere the good people of Clones seem to really embrace match days:

    The people in Belfast just see matchdays it as a pain in the neck. You will never have the same atmosphere in Casement Park.

  • Brian O’Neill

    Ciaran Casement Park has been there for over 60 years why would a new stadium make any difference to GAA in Belfast or Antrim? Exactly how would a new stadium improve the lives of players in Cushendall, Ballycastle or the rest of Antrim?

    As for GAA bashing. I said in the post I am happy to see Casement get redeveloped but at a more realistic scale. Residents don’t want a 100 million mega stadium on there door. The old stadium already held 32,000, it would have been straightforward to revamp what was there.

    Very few matches ever get the attendance needed for a stadium of this proposed size. The only conclusion is the GAA wants a concert venue on the cheap—but-hurling-crowds-down-again-682314/

  • hollandia

    When its fit for purpose it will be filled regularly.

  • T.E.Lawrence
  • james

    Perhaps a fairer distribution of funds here?

    If 20million did Ravenhill why does this need 77?

    Surely at least half of that could be more equitably re-allocated to a range of other sports?

  • hgreen

    Very unlikely. There’s only one GAA match in Ulster a year that gets around 30k spectators. As for concerts. No chance.

  • mickfealty

    It’s only a matter of trim-tabbing the scale to something workable. But there won’t be any further progress till we have a government that can bring itself to get back to work.

  • Ciarán

    Antrim is a chronically under-performing county. With a population of its scale (>600,000), and in spite of various cultural nuances, it should be competing among the top six. In Belfast particularly, clubs are under pressure for a host of reasons, including competition from other sports. The profile of Antrim Gaelic games needs to be raised. In the vacuum left in absence of Casement (currently a rotten husk) there is only stagnation and an inevitable talent-drain.

    A redeveloped Casement would restore a sense of status and ambition, simultaneously acting a revenue generator for wealth redistribution among clubs. Young gaels need something to aspire to. A by-product would be greater coherence within the county and a potential to soften the urban/rural tensions: i.e. unity of purpose.

    Dublin represents the model for what can be achieved. Reactionaries, especially those who position themselves outside and have absolutely no positive contribution to make to the GAA, will do all they can to stymie progress.

  • Ruairi Murphy

    Without weighing on the Casement argument in its totality, you’re last paragraph here is not correct.

    It is not fair to say that the only conclusion is that the GAA wants a concert venue on the cheap. Evidence consistently shows that new stadiums with better facilities attract larger attendances.

  • Ciarán

    I suppose you think the numbers currently in attendance at Dublin games just emerged from thin air?

  • hollandia

    Only one match that gets 30k? Didn’t you see the link I posted earlier?
    You’re also neglecting qualifiers that generate big crowds. Filling it would also be a case of double headers – as regularly occurs in croker – for smaller counties. I could reasonably be expected to host important club games – for example the AI club finals on St Patricks day generally only attract 30,000. Why not push for Casement to hold this as opposed to Croker?

  • murdockp


    I can pretty much guarantee that this stadium cannot be built for £77m.

    A stadium designed by a signature architect costs circa £3,500 per seat. 32,600 seats is £114m. All the benchmarks in the UK support this figure.

    An this does not include contingencies and project abnormals such as working in a housing estate.

    The number I will put on this as a Chartered Quantity Surveyor (I am putting my reputation on the line here) is £130m.

    But we live in Northern Ireland, so what will happen, they will tell us the budget is fine and then when the project is 1/3 built they will then tell us the costs have jumped by £50m knowing that the project will carry on regardless.

    I will go further and say that it is the most ill conceived project in the history of Irish Construction. Did you know they are in contract already? No where else in the UK would this be allowed to happen, again ridiculous.

    I hope this post is kept as I look forward to comparing the actual outturn cost with my forecast out turn cost.

  • hollandia

    I don’t think the scale needs necessarily trimmed back at all.

  • Brian O’Neill

    ‘Did you know they are in contract already?’

    Does this mean that if the project does not go ahead there is a penalty? Any more details on this?

  • murdockp

    I don’t disagree with your comment, however good architecture is all about designing buildiings to suit the environment around them. A 10,000 capacity county stadium would be sensible but not a 32,800 seater with no parking.

    As for the Maze being soulless, how can you say they without having seen a design. Manchester United’s stadium is on an industrial estate next to a cornflake factory as they don’t seem to struggle with atmosphere creation.

    Personally as a Down man, Clones is the venue to spend the money on. The town centre creates an important contribution to match days. Belfast offers nothing at casement. A trip to McDonalds is about it,

  • murdockp
  • mickfealty

    How big does it need to be?

  • hgreen

    It’s a terrible location for a concert venue.

  • hgreen

    Nah they emerged from a big GAA mad city called Dublin.

  • Ciarán

    Incorrect. They came as a result of time and money invested into promotion of the codes over many years (in the face of obstacles). This bred success which in turn produced huge attendances. Why can Belfast not be a ‘GAA mad city’ also and indeed Antrim become a direct competitor?

  • hgreen

    Read the article. Casement is difficult to access even for people living in Belfast. That’s why they are proposing a park and ride at the maze.

  • hollandia

    Have you been there? It’s not in the slightest difficult to access.

  • hgreen

    Smaller population and different demographics for a start.

  • hollandia

    Depends entirely on how many big ticket matches you want to hold. Given that its in line to hold a mooted RWC QF at least, 30,000 would be the minimum. A decent AI football double header – say tyrone v armagh and monaghan v down would fill the place easily. In fact I’d suggest Tyrone v Armagh would fill the place on its own.

  • Brian O’Neill

    What does promotion of the codes mean?

  • Brian O’Neill

    Ciaran you are right that Antrim under performs but there must be a whole host of reasons behind this. Antrim have sucked for decades and it can’t just be down to not having a shinny county stadium.

    It is like saying if a business moved to new premises things would get automatically get better. It is management, leadership, nurturing talent and a whole host of other factors that bring success.

    Even in West Belfast a lot of people are indifferent to GAA. It would be interesting to survey how many people in West Belfast were ever in the old Casement.

    My issue is not with Casement Park but with spending such huge amounts of money on something that will lie idle most of the time. The bill for the new Casement could easily top 100 million or more.

  • hgreen

    Yep. Even better. I’ve played there. Do you know of a direct bus service from the south of the city to casement? There’s no parking which is why the article mentions park and ride at the maze. The M1 junction is rammed even when there isn’t a match on. Considering the state of the Antrim football team most of the spectators will be visiting from outside Belfast via car which make the current site not fit for purpose.

    If you are coming for a concert and staying in the city you have to try and get a taxi or a bus to and from casement making it a stupid location for a concert.

    If the GAA are looking for a viable stadium that could be used for events and are looking to really promote the GAA across the whole community and beyond they need to put it in the city centre not up in a housing estate in west Belfast.

  • Granni Trixie

    It made me lol.

  • Ciarán

    Promotion of football, hurling, ladies’ football, camogie, handball etc.

  • hollandia

    There is, to my knowledge only one cross town bus service and that goes to the waterworks. Andersonstown is not a “housing estate” in West Belfast. It is a main thoroughfare into the city. And, as stated previously, It’s comfortably coped with large crowds in the past. Bus service, or not.

  • Thunder Spake

    Just when Antrim football team are at a low ebb you blame them directly for the current site not being fit for purpose. lol
    Too much of a risk putting it in the centre of the city and no real need -The west of the city is the Hub of GAA in Belfast so would make sense to build in Casement . Windsor park is in a heavily built up housing area and the IFA does a fine job at promoting their game across the whole community .

  • Thunder Spake

    ‘It is management, leadership, nurturing talent and a whole host of other factors that bring success. ‘
    And thats what a new state of the art casement park will encourage in the medium to long term . What Antrim are missing is ambition -the stadium represents that . Look when casement was last renovated in late 90’s I think Antrim had a more successful time – with the hurling and football competing well with teams at the top table. That cant be coincidence.

    finally cant let this slide “Even in West Belfast a lot of people are indifferent to GAA. ”
    Really ? “a lot of people ” ?

  • Tomas Mac Cathmhaoil

    Sounds like you didn’t make the u-12 team.

  • Mimi Balguerie

    Sure, I get that, but only from a blank sheet of paper with the mindset of a traffic planner – build it in Dungannon, it’s on the M1 and they like Gaelic football there” works only if you completely ignore the state of the GAA in the county. Tyrone GAA already have a very comfortable home, and rather than spend money making it even more comfortable, they instead invested their cash in a new training centre in Garvaghey. Tyrone GAA are not short of money and they know what they want from it. They have neither want nor need for another large stadium. Incidentally Dungannon Clarkes are also looking to redevelop their ground, but with modern facilities, small capacity, and better training facilities, which is exactly what the club and county needs. I also doubt the other Ulster counties would stand for it, the last thing Ulster football needs is Tyrone becoming even better resourced than they already are.

    I think concerts are an irrelevance to the GAA, to be quite honest. They’re building a stadium, not a concert hall -the only reason they’ve been included was that people complained Casement would remain unused. No, I think the GAA are pushing this for two reasons. Firstly, they need a premier venue for big Ulster games – it makes absolutely no sense.for two Ulster teams to travel to Dublin for a UF or all-Ireland quarter final. And secondly, the GAA have designs on the young urban population of Belfast.

    Given the popularity of soccer and rugby in Dublin, the GAA could have simply thrown their hands up and said “City kids don’t want to play Gaelic games, they’re rural sports and, and are unfashionable”. Instead the GAA poured money and resources into the game in Dublin, with phenomenal, and very lucrative, success. (It really did not come cheap). I think they see Casement as an opportunity to do the same in Belfast.

    For that, it actually needs to be in Belfast, and be impressive. It needs to be a symbol of the vitality of Gaelic games, and it needs to be somewhere you’d actually enjoy just going to watch a game. Think less Garth Brooks and more floodlit Saturday night league matches. Although a smaller modern ground could do the same job.

    On Clones, I very much agree with Mr McAleer, the atmosphere is something special and I will be sad to see it go, but its simply not fit for purpose in its current state, and access is even worse than Belfast. I think if the GAA had not bought in to the Maze project and the promise of funding from Stormont, they might have rebuilt it by now, but the lure of a fitting home for the games in Belfast is a big one.

  • Brendan Heading

    You brought unionists into it Neil,

    Casement is indeed a horlicks largely due to the incompetence of the Sinn Féin minister. But now that we’re here. Remind me again – who was it that vetoed the development down at Maze ?

    I’ll give you two guesses (and a clue)

  • Brian O’Neill

    All excellent points. You would not happen to work on the PR for the project? If not they should hire you as the GAA have made a complete cluster feck on the PR for this project.

  • Mimi Balguerie

    Wasn’t a comment on the Maze, rather on Croker. I don’t think it would have the same atmosphere if it was say, out beside the airport, even if the access is better. I loved the Maze idea and think it’s a real shame it didn’t go ahead. If the site is the issue, there’s a great one out on the old Visteon site that would be more suitable. Or, yeah, Clones.

    As for EPL, I’d have to disagree with you, but then I’m used to Bundesliga. EPL is getting a reputation for being flat and badly needs measures to inject life back into it. Celtic Park is buzzing, but the conscious efforts of the Green Brigade have a lot to do with it. How does the atmosphere at the Emirates compare to Highbury, for example? (I well enjoyed Köln fans taking over the Emirates library recently, even if there was trouble with it)

    As for Bundesliga, they have out-of-town stadia and the atmosphere is absolutely electric, but there are specific reasons for that – including superb public transport from urban centres, and a fan culture that sees people drinking in the stands two hours or more before the game begins. The GAA can’t necessarily replicate that.

  • There’s a great Dublin saying:
    You shouldn’t mock. It’s catching.

  • Exactly. I agree. The GAA does “have designs on the young urban population”. In cahoots with the state and big business all the sport bureaucracies use schools, the media, official opinion etc to cajole youth into organisatiobs that suppress expression. Sport at its best is in some way akin to art.
    However, sport in this society is imbued with sneering at expression, fair play, social awareness. ‘Community’ in the eyes of the sports apparatciks is actually a very nasty parochialism. Indeed so incapable of objective assesment are a layer of sports fans and players they think cynicism is normal and people who query the GAA, or Roy Keane, or Rugby have a hidden agenda or embittered motive. They believe their ‘code’ is inherently of worth. Beyobd question.

  • Brian O’Neill

    I was going to ask have they not considered the old visteon site. It is directly next to the motorway and their would be room for a car park.

  • macdanish

    “the build quality of Croke Park is very poor.” Could you back that up with some evidence? Croke Park is one of the most modern stadiums in Europe with terrific corporate and media facilities. Seriously what are you talking about?

  • aquifer

    Park for work Monday to Friday, park for sport at the weekend. Makes sense.

  • Regardless of GAA PR, Croke Park is very crude and cheaply put together. Lke most facilities for publuc use have been since the start of the Thatcherite assault on the gains won by the wobg class.
    There’s no more relentless proponent of PR than the GAA. Deceipt in the service of the executive layer, corporations abd official society. Tellng us black is white.

  • macdanish

    Ah you’re crazy not worth getting into discussion with as you re just talking nonsense.

  • whatif1984true

    Ultimately there are 2 factors.
    What is the benefit to west belfast of 38000 people in the area for a short time. The local shops bars and (hotels?) will have an uplift but has anyone measured the potential. I wouldnt invest serious money based on the suggested rare big events to be held.
    Congestion. If the maze were to be used has anyone put a figure on roughly how many cars etc will be needed to get 38,000 into Casement. The use of the maze is a recognition of the sheer size of the problem. they have to close down streets when there is a concert in the Odyssey and it is a SIXTH the size of Casement.

    Like everything ultimately these sort of decisions/projects live on because the ordinary people have neither the money nor energy to fight on for years and years and years.

  • whatif1984true

    Anyone got a fact on how much noise in decibels is generated by VITAL. Can we then be told how many people will have that level of noise when a concert is held in Casement.
    How many cars would be parked at the maze?
    There is always a shortage of facts.

  • Spike

    Please remember this is a Replacement project therefore there was a 30k+ stadium already on the site, dealing with all the issues you have alluded to previously and now are in the midst of improving such and the overall experience. End of. Is Windsor Park worth keeping open just because of a handful of NI matches every year and it sits largely vacant thereafter??
    Remember the rugby world cup bid comes into all this as well.
    regarding cost, the budget is certainly very tight and one wonders about specification. £2k per seat can be done but it is certainly spartan and no frills, but the previous tender process had a winner who believed they could do it for that cost. Perhaps the finer details of this are still to emerge.
    regarding maze, it will still cost a fortune, in an area not noted for GAA and with considerably less amenities than a city location can offer. Key driver in all this is the GAA reigniting the participation in Belfast.

  • Reader

    Brendan Heading: Remind me again – who was it that vetoed the development down at Maze ?
    Only the multi-sport stadium was vetoed. If SF want a new GAA stadium there, there would be no problem, and it could very well work out far cheaper than the Casement development even with all the money that has already been spent (uselessly) at Casement.

  • Mimi Balguerie

    Heh. Maybe I’ll consider it if I move back home. Just a mixed Tyrone-Antrim exile plying her trade in the world. Katyusha-chan says hi.
    Some colour on the topic. The differences in attitude to Casement and Pairc Ui Chaoimh, almost identical projects in their scale, purpose and challenges is instructive.
    See the difference? The concerns of residents in Ballintemple are exactly the same as those in Andersonstown, but the attitude to the stadium development isn’t. It’s a difference in culture and attitude between the two cities, which is an interesting topic in itself.
    I can’t understand the obsession with parking spaces. I can’t claim to be an expert but I don’t know of any major GAA stadium in the country with good access or parking space near the ground. Croker, PuC, Clones, Healy, none of these venues have parking near the ground and are nightmares to get in and out of. Who cares? People make it work, and the atmosphere walking through the streets to a game is something else. The parking issue comes up because Belfast can’t envision the world outside of Belfast, or how people might act differently, and because it’s a dull planning issue that anyone can discuss.
    Also, you asked about “promotion of the codes”, I assume a question about terminology, but in reality, this is what it means.
    Yeah. Dublin didn’t happen by accident. The GAA went to war there.

  • Mimi Balguerie

    Heh. Maybe I’ll consider it if I move back home. Just a mixed Tyrone-Antrim exile plying her trade in the world. Katyusha-chan says hi.
    Some colour on the topic. The differences in attitude to Casement and Pairc Ui Chaoimh, almost identical projects in their scale, purpose and challenges is instructive.
    See the difference? The concerns of residents in Ballintemple are exactly the same as those in Andersonstown, but the attitude to the stadium development isn’t. It’s a difference in culture and attitude between the two cities, which is an interesting topic in itself.
    I can’t understand the obsession with parking spaces. I can’t claim to be an expert but I don’t know of any major GAA stadium in the country with good access or parking space near the ground. Croker, PuC, Clones, Healy, none of these venues have parking near the ground and are nightmares to get in and out of. Who cares? People park outside and might walk two miles to a game, but the atmosphere walking through the streets to a game is something else. However it is interesting that you are criticising the GAA in other counties (through the linked independent article) for doing exactly what you are recommending Antrim GAA do in Belfast: selling up and moving out of town (plans which never came to fruition, at least in the case of Kerry and Clare). So which one is it?
    Also, you asked about “promotion of the codes”, I assume a question about terminology, but in reality, this is what it means.
    Yeah. Dublin didn’t happen by accident. The GAA went to war there.