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RDS to build 25k-seater rugby stadium

Friday, July 11 14:06:50

The Royal Dublin Society (RDS) and Leinster Rugby plan to redevelop the RDS Arena, in to a 25,000-seater stadium.

They today launched the first architectural competition of its kind for sports stadia in Ireland, calling for creative ideas to transform the home of the Horse Show.

The competition will be for a design of a multi-purpose world class arena that will increase the stadium capacity from 18,500 to 25,000 and will greatly enhance facilities, to the benefit of Leinster Rugby home games as well the RDS Dublin Horse Show and all other events and concerts there.

The Architectural Design competition will be administered by the Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland (RIAI) on a two stage basis and will be adjudicated by a five person jury. The jury will be chaired by Owen Lewis, Professor Emeritus of Architectural Science, UCD and Chairman, RDS, Board of Management.

Speaking at today's announcement in the RDS, Michael Duffy, Chief Executive of the RDS said, "The RDS has been home to Leinster Rugby since 2007 and we are delighted to move on to the next stage of our relationship with them, which is to collaborate on a new stadium development from which both parties will benefit."

"The RDS is already on a world stage as an equestrian and now rugby venue and our ambition is for a world leading stadium with facilities on a par with the best anywhere. It is for this reason that we have decided to launch this open competition and to seek design ideas from the best in the world."

The newly developed RDS Arena will be home to Leinster Rugby's home Guinness PRO12 and European Rugby Champions Cup games and Chief Executive, Mick Dawson welcomed the announcement and the opportunities it presents.

"This really is fantastic news for all Leinster Rugby supporters, for the players, management and for staff. We have had some wonderful moments in the RDS over the years but it's now time to look to the future," he said.

"The move from Donnybrook to the RDS in 2007/2008 has proved to be extremely successful and it has allowed us to grow as a team. In that time we have won numerous domestic and European trophies while offering an excellent match day experience. However we want to move forward and a 25,000 capacity, purpose built arena will allow us to do that and provide us with greater commercial opportunities both within the stadium and with regard to naming rights," he added.

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