RDS Arena major redevelopment plans



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Leinster Rugby stadium with redevelopment plans Image: Leinster Rugby

The Royal Dublin Society (RDS) (Ireland) has submitted an application to the Dublin City Council for a major redevelopment of Leinster Rugby’s Arena home.

‘IRISH MIRROR’ stated that the cost of the project is expected to be €50m and will be sourced from the RDS funds as well as from Government support – €10m is the bank collected from the Large Scale Infrastructure Fund in 2020 – and outside backers, bringing the capacity of the venue to 21,500.

Ballsbridge, Dublin (Ireland)-based the Royal Dublin Society (RDS) is an Irish philanthropic organization and members club which was founded as the ‘Dublin Society’ on June 25th, 1731 with the aim to see Ireland thrive culturally and economically.

The Dublin City Council is the authority responsible for local Government in the City of Dublin in Ireland. As a City Council, it is governed by the Local Government Act 2001. Until 2001, the Council was known as the Dublin Corporation.

The Leinster Rugby is one of the four professional provincial club rugby union teams from the island of Ireland and the most successful Irish team domestically. They compete in the United Rugby Championship and the European Rugby Champions Cup.

The 18,500-capacity RDS Arena is a multipurpose sports stadium owned by the Royal Dublin Society (RDS) and located in the Dublin suburb of Ballsbridge, Ireland. The arena was developed to host equestrian events, primarily the annual Dublin Horse Show, which was first held there in 1881. The site had been acquired in 1879 by the RDS. It serves as the home facility of Leinster Rugby.

‘IRISH MIRROR’ further stated that the existing Anglesea Stand was built close to a century ago and it is to be demolished, along with the Anglesea Terrace.

A 6,775-capacity new stand over three levels, plus two-story hospitality and services building, will be constructed in their place – as well as a club shop.

The planning permission was originally granted in 2018 but that has now lapsed, so the RDS bosses had to file a new application.

Said a spokesperson for the province, “Leinster Rugby can confirm that the RDS applied for Planning Permission for the redecoration of its Arena in June. We look forward to supporting the RDS in achieving its ambition to create a world-class multipurpose arena for excellence in sports and entertainment.”

Last October, the RDS and Leinster confirmed a new 25-year agreement for the Arena to remain as the ‘Blues’ home.

Leinster first played at the stadium in 2005 and, two years later, the first lease was signed and the stadium became the province’s permanent home venue.

Earlier in February, the new Leinster head honcho Shane Nolan said, “It’s pretty exciting. We want to get it right, though. You don’t develop stadiums every day, so we want to make sure what we do is done right. All the necessary thought and rigor is going in it from the RDS and we’re meeting on a pretty regular basis. I think we should have something really exciting in the next couple of months to show.”

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