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first_imgPrint Advertisement Concerts back on agenda at Gaelic Grounds to help provide higher profileWITH the Gaelic Grounds having almost slipped from the radar in the hosting of money-spinning fixtures, the County Board is forced to look at alternatives to meet the huge operating costs incurred in the daily running of the stadium.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up The biggest single attendance at the 50,000 capacity venue inside the last two years was 22,000, dropping to 10,000 this GAA summer season.Last year, the Limerick Post exclusively reported that the board had taken steps to open negotiations with concert promoters.Such a proposal is now very much back on the agenda, as explained by the secretary Michael O’ Riordan, adamant that stadium is just not viable without turning elsewhere for revenue.“There is legislation and planning permissions to be overcome if we are to open up to concerts.“The fact is, we need to generate income from other sources. In the last few weeks, we wrote cheques to the amount of €75,000 for rates and water charges alone. Our water usage is very high simply because the place is riddled with leaks and we have had to put in new valves”.He pointed out that there are huge costs involved in ground maintenance, safety procedures and staffing levels.There is now further expenditure of €600,000 to be met for two new dressingrooms.The reality is that the Gaelic Grounds has had only one high profile fixture inside the last two years, with 22,000 having watched the Clare v Tipperary senior hurling championship clash in 2009.Last weekend, an estimated 10,000 turned up for the Limerick v Cork fourth round football All-Ireland qualifier, about one-fifth of capacity.The saving grace this year is the International Rules Game between Limerick and Australia on Saturday, October 23, with a full house expected.One noted GAA authority told the Limerick Post that the Gaelic Grounds, revamped eight years ago at a cost of millions, already has that neglected feel about it.“It pales in comparison to Thomond Park…quite simply, something will have to be done. The Gaelic Grounds is a wonderful facility to have but at the moment it is going nowhere. We are not getting high-profile matches-Cork and Thurles have scored in that respect-but a couple of concerts each year could add a fresh dimension to the place and bring in the kind of revenue required to sustain it”.Back to Michael Riordan: “We have home and away arrangements with Cork and Tipperary for Munster senior hurling finals, but that has not been happening for us. It hasn’t helped that we have had on and off-the-field problems with the hurlers.“Overall, we simply have to adopt a higher profile for the Gaelic Grounds. There are stipulations in our planning permission and we are exploring all avenues”.The Gaelic Grounds is not the only loser-the local business community is also affected.* Munster are due to play a Magner’s League game on Saturday, October 23, at Thomond Park but it is understood it is now planned to switch to the Sunday to avoid a clash with the International Rules fixture.The new Greyhound Stadium is to be officially opened on Friday, October 22, which should make for a great weekend of sport in the city. NewsLocal NewsFears as stadium off radarBy admin – July 29, 2010 596 Linkedin Twittercenter_img Email Facebook WhatsApp Previous articleSarsfield Street works spring ‘surprises’Next articleMake Castletown your castle adminlast_img read more