Casement Park Revisited

Ulster GAA has unveiled the revised proposal for a new provincial stadium at Casement Park in Belfast.

This is the first phase of a wide consultation with members of the public on the creation of a new landmark arena which will also be part of the Ireland bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023.

The new scheme has been developed by global award winning architects Populous. The mixed use facility proposes a range of resources to advance the economic, cultural and heritage opportunities for the local community.

It promises to be an iconic construction. Populous previous work includes the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ascot Racecourse, the Emirates Stadium and the London Olympic Stadium.

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The new design has a proposed capacity of 34,500 inclusive of 8,500 standing terracing. This will be for the wider long term use of Ulster GAA as we understand there are limits to the use of terracing for stadia in the Rugby World Cup bid.

The new height, scale and capacity are all reduced from the previous design, with the stadium envelope also being further restricted. This is to address concerns locally which brought development to a halt at the first time of asking.

Uniquely to Belfast, the complete bowl design will ensure that terracing supporters have the same level of protection from the weather and concourse facilities as all other spectators within the ground. The proposal also sets out plans for sustainable travel options with dedicated traffic and travel operations including supporter coach travel and off-site park and ride transportation.

“Today’s design unveiling demonstrates Ulster GAA’s willingness to engage, listen and evolve our plans for a new Casement Park stadium,” said Tom Daly, Chairman of the Casement Park Project.

“In the new scheme we have reduced the scale, mass, size and capacity of the stadium whilst at the same time creating a first class atmosphere for GAA supporters through the bowl design and up-close spectator experience.

“We are also committed to delivering a travel culture change within the GAA with a sustainable transport strategy inclusive of coach travel, park and ride and integrated travel choices with ticket sales. This strategy is good for ease of access to and from the stadium, is cognisant of the needs and views of the local community and is good for the wider environment.

“The emerging design will be up to code and the Casement Park project team continues to work closely and positively with the Safety Technical Group (STG). We are looking forward to hearing from GAA supporters, the local community and all stakeholders on their thoughts on the design and community facilities throughout the consultation process.”

Ulster GAA will now be holding a series of Stage Two public events where members of the general public will be able to see the proposed designs for themselves at the Lagan Valley Island Centre (25th Oct) Glenn Community Complex (26th Oct) and Andersonstown Leisure Centre (27th Oct). The events will take place from 1pm to 8pm. A drop in office will be located within the vicinity of Casement Park following the exhibition events to provide the opportunity for engagement on the project at designated times.

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