RDS Arena stand to generate tourism revenues



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Green light for RDS Arena renovation Leinster Rugby Image: Leinster Rugby

The Royal Dublin Society (RDS) has secured the green light for a new €50 million Anglesea Stand for the RDS Arena at Ballsbridge in Dublin, Ireland.

‘breakingnews.ie’ stated that the Dublin City Council has granted planning permission for the 6,775-capacity stand after its planner concluded that the new stand “would provide a modern stand facility with enhanced hospitality facilities for visitors and patrons”.

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 RDS is synonymous with its 160,000 m² campus in Ballsbridge, Dublin, Ireland.

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.

The Dublin City Council is the authority responsible for the 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.

‘breakingnews.ie’ further stated that no objections were lodged against the new application and a cost benefit analysis lodged with the plan estimates that the new stand will deliver an estimated additional €254 million in tourism revenues over a 25-year period.

The report from the Indecon International Economic Consultants claims, overall, the development will deliver a net benefit in net present value of €68.1 million.

The Indecon International Economic Consultants (‘Indecon’) is Ireland’s leading independent economic research and consultancy organization. Since its founding in 1988, the Indecon has provided high quality, independent economic and strategic advice to the public and private sector organizations in Ireland and internationally.

A key ongoing economic benefit from the new stand would be the enhanced tourism revenues for Ireland, it said. The report states that the Indecon analysis estimated these to be €546 million over 25 years.

The application involves the demolition of the existing Anglesea Stand and the Anglesea Terrace and the new stand is to consist of three levels along with a two-story hospitality building.

The RDS was previously granted planning permission for a new Anglesea Stand in August 2018, but that planning permission is due to lapse this coming October requiring the new application to be made.

A report lodged with the new application states that the five-year permission from 2018 did not provide sufficient time needed for funding requirements due to rising costs, detailed design and procurement and build.

The new permission is the third time that the RDS has secured planning permission for a new Anglesea Stand since November 2016.

Subject to planning and funding the RDS aims to commence construction in August 2024.

When lodging the plans in June, a spokesman for the RDS stated, “The project has been fully costed and will be composed of RDS funds as well as Philanthropy and Government support.”

On the need for the new stand, the spokesman stated, “The existing Anglesea Stand was built in the 1930s and no longer meets modern requirements for players, performers and the overall customer experience.

He added, “It will be the home of Leinster rugby and the RDS Dublin Horse Show with an ambition to provide state-of-the-art facilities to showcase the best of all sports including women’s football and rugby.”

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 51,700-capacity Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland and the 18,500-capacity RDS Arena in Dublin serves as their home grounds.

The United Rugby Championship is an annual rugby union competition involving professional teams from Ireland, Italy, Scotland, South Africa, and Wales.

The European Rugby Champions Cup is an annual rugby union tournament organized by European Professional Club Rugby (governing body). It is the top-tier competition for clubs who compete in a predominantly European league.

The planning permission follows Leinster Rugby agreeing to a new 25- year lease for the stadium last October.

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