Sligo Rovers have published plans for a multi-million euro redevelopment of the Showgrounds stadium with the creation of an academy hub for the northwest region of the country. The stadium would have a capacity of 6,000.
The master plan includes a detailed analysis of the economic, social and financial impact that the proposed development could have on the club, the county and beyond, as well as the footballing impact.
The plan has been endorsed by Sligo County Council and the FAI.
New floodlights, turnstiles, hospitality spaces, shops, corporate and sponsors facilities, offices, meeting rooms, upgraded media facilities, multiple changing rooms and a gym would be part of the redevelopment.
The total cost of the overall project as complied by Rhatigan Architects is €17.3million.
A provisional agreement with Sligo Rugby to facilitate games in the redeveloped Showgrounds has been reached, with the club keen to open up the facilities for the wider sporting community.
The club are actively seeking land within the Sligo area for the development of a home for the expanding Sligo Rovers academy.
This season over 50 per cent of the registered Sligo Rovers first-team squad has been developed from the academy, with an average of 40 per cent in each matchday squad.
The club set to climb to second place in the SSE Airtricty League this week.
“Today we present a vision that has been created not just over the last year but through the growth and enhancement of the club in its modern existence,: said Sligo Rovers Chair Tommy Higgins.
“We see unlimited potential in Sligo Rovers Football Club. Today the football represents a beacon and focal point of the community, something we have worked tirelessly to achieve.”
“We also have a youth set-up which is developing countless footballers going on to play senior League of Ireland football each year, while still being in its infancy. Prior to Covid-19, we had 11 players involved with Ireland at an underage level during one calendar year and our desire is to invest further in the area.”
“In the future, we want to develop a facility that can raise standards even further across the board.”
“That is by improving football players through investment in coaching, teams and the experience of the supporter to enhance our attendance figures.”
“As a community club, we also seek to bring further benefits to our local economy and provide the opportunity to young boys aspiring to become the next Seamus Coleman to live out their dream, and for girls who need more front of house women wearing the Bit O’ Red of Sligo Rovers as soon as possible.”
“We talk a lot about football in the community, not just here in Ireland but across the globe, and Sligo Rovers are standard-bearers in this regard,” added FAI CEO Jonathan Hill.
“I am delighted to see the range of this Development Plan which reflects the club’s standing in the Sligo community in a fitting manner. Such development is a cornerstone of our vision for the future of all our League of Ireland clubs. Well done to all involved with this project.”
“This ambitious Development Plan from Sligo Rovers clearly shows a footballing venue can be more than just a playing field for 22 players,” concluded Walter Holleran, FAI head of facility development.
“Great credit must go to all involved to Sligo Rovers for their approach and visionary concept. The FAI unanimously supports this development plan and will continue to support its progress into development.”
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