Connacht GAA has confirmed that its pre-season FBD Insurance backed football competition will take place indoors at the Connacht GAA Dome in Mayo.

The tournament will be played over four matches in ten days between January 4th and 14th.

The opening fixture will see Leitrim, led for the first time by Andy Moran, take on Sligo on Tuesday, January 4th. The winners of that will play Roscommon the following Saturday, 24 hours after Mayo play Sligo. The final will take place the following Saturday, January 14th.

There will be capacity through temporary stands at the facility for up to 2,000 spectators if public health guidance at the time allows for that.

It is likely that the games will also be streamed live.

The Dome was brought to reality with the 2018 grant of €2.1 million in funding from the Department of Rural and Community Development. It is the centrepiece of the Connacht GAA Centre of Excellence in Bekan, County Mayo and consists of a full-size indoor GAA pitch, running track, temporary stand and gym facilities.

Construction began in October 2019 and the Dome was inflated in the summer of 2020.

Sport for Business understands there will be an announcement made next month about a partnership relating to injury and medical facilities.

The concept of playing competitive matches indoors is alien to us in Ireland, ironically given our temperate climate but around the world, it is more the norm, albeit with 100 rather than 140-metre pitches as standard.

The change in playing conditions is less than was the case with the move from boggy grass pitches to the artificial and hybrid pitches that now dot the country and have played host to thousands of games.

 

Sport for Business Perspective

There will be a novelty for sure and it’s certain that the winning team will have far fewer issues with the atmosphere than the losers but it is a dynamic advance and one that should be welcomed.

 

 

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