Connacht Rugby boosts capacity for Christmas crackers

Additional temporary terracing is to be installed in the Sportsground to meet the high level of ticket demand for the traditional festive interprovincial clashes against Ulster and Munster.

Extra terracing will increase capacity to more than 8,000 spectators when Connacht take on Ulster on Friday December 28, followed by Munster on Saturday January 5, both at 7.35pm.

Connacht's communications manager Brendan Loughnane says there is always a high demand for tickets for the interprovincial games, and another surge for the Christmas fixtures.

"When the two events coincide we need to increase capacity to meet that demand. Both the Clan Stand and main stand tickets are already sold out for both fixtures, so we are installing additional terracing at the College Road and Bohermore ends," he says.

Tickets for the additional terracing are available to purchase immediately through ConnachtRugby.ie/Tickets/

This season Connacht is also offering a three-match pack.

The announcement of the additional terracing comes a day after Connacht Rugby confirmed it has formally submitted a planning application to the Galway City Council for the Sportsground's redevelopment.

The redevelopment will involve a €30m investment in a 12,000 capacity stadium and high performance training centre.

The application follows a detailed design process and public consultation carried out in conjunction with technical advisers, Tobin Consulting Engineers and Chapman Architects.

Widespread support

The public consultation has included a stadium composition survey, briefings to elected officials, establishment of designated email address to deal directly with submissions, individual and group meetings with residents, a public engagement session held in the Connacht Hotel in October and an extensive media campaign.

The submission coincides with the official launch of the Government’s Large Scale Sports Infrastructure Fund which opened last week.

The redevelopment is estimated to cost some €30m and the allocation of public funds is essential.

Connacht Rugby CEO Willie Ruane believes there is widespread support for the project.

"Since the public announcement of the project in early October we have received widespread support from the public and elected representatives for the development of the stadium and delivery of a high performance training centre. Our public consultation has also allowed us to really engage with local residents and address issues or observations that they raised.

“We welcome the launch of the Large Scale Sports Infrastructure Fund, which the Government announced over the past few weeks. We have already presented an outline of the project to members of the Oireachtas including the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who has been supportive of the development and of its strategic benefits to the entire region.

"The scheme outline sets out the need for regional distribution of the fund along with the need to develop multi use facilities, making the Sportsground an ideal location for development. Our formal submission for public funding will be made in line with the application criteria."

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