€10 million boost for The Sportsground revamp


Connacht Rugby Stadium funding Image: Connacht Rugby

Connacht Rugby’s redevelopment of The Sportsground stadium in Galway, Ireland has been given an additional €10 million cash injection.

In 2020, Connacht Rugby was awarded €10 m from the Irish State’s Large-Scale Sports Infrastructure Fund (LSSIF).

At that time, An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar made a further commitment to provide €10 million in additional funding to the project due to “the economic significance of The Sportsground redevelopment to the wider West of Ireland region.”

In June 2022, Connacht Rugby commenced the first phase of the redevelopment of The Sportsground which saw the construction of a new pitch system; the construction and installation of a new LED floodlighting system; and other enabling works, all of which were completed by December 2022.

The 8,129-capacity Sportsground, also known as The Galway Sportsgrounds and the Galway Greyhound Stadium and the Connacht Rugby Stadium, is a multipurpose stadium in Galway, Ireland. It opened in 1927 and has been used to host Connacht Rugby matches and greyhound racing since that time.

The announcement of the additional funding will now enable Connacht Rugby to move forward with the next phase (2) of the project.

Construction will begin with the build of the new High-Performance Centre consisting of a new indoor training pitch as well as state-of-the-art athlete and staff facilities.

Upon completion, work will then immediately begin on the new North Stand. This Stand will replace the existing Clan Terrace and will consist of a mixture of standing, seated and hospitality options with top-class facilities for players, supporters, partners, and media.

The North Stand will have a capacity of over 7,000 supporters when it opens.

Connacht Rugby CEO Willie Ruane said: “As far back as 2016 we announced our vision to develop ‘facilities that matched our ambition’. The redevelopment of The Sportsground into a fit for purpose Stadium and High-Performance Centre is the realisation of this vision, not just for everyone who has an involvement in or is a supporter of Connacht Rugby, but also for anyone who has an interest in the wider region.

“I want to fully acknowledge the very significant support we have received from The State for our plans and the strategic importance of the project to the wider regional economy. I would also like to once again express our sincere gratitude to An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar; Minister Catherine Martin; Minister Thomas Byrne; Minister Hildegarde Naughton; Minister Anne Rabbitte and the many others who are helping to make this project become a reality.

“I would also like to especially mention our Board and committee members, all of whom are volunteers and put huge time, effort and consideration into ensuring that Connacht Rugby is moving in the right direction and in the right manner.”

Connacht Rugby is one of the four professional provincial rugby teams from the island of Ireland. Connacht competes in the United Rugby Championship and the European Rugby Champions Cup.

Connacht Rugby said it will be making further announcements regarding the project in the coming weeks.

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