It is hoped that Ireland will be the prospective host country for the 2023 Rugby World Cup and should that application prove to be successful, games may be featured in Pearse Stadium throughout the tournament. The Galway County Board has showed its support by adopting a motion issued by the Salthill/Knockacarra club regarding the usage of Pearse Stadium in this competition.
This decision represents a poignant transition in the GAA. It will be the second time that a GAA pitch will be used to host a professional sport following the precedent set by Croke Park. Chairman of the Salthill/Knocknacarra club, David Burke sees advantages for Galway’s economy should the acquisition of the rugby world hosting privileges go ahead.“This is the right move for GAA in Galway and nationally and an opportunity to show again that the GAA is a very progressive organisation. Having the Rugby World Cup in Galway could bring as much as €20 million to the local economy and nationally it could be worth up to €500 million to Ireland and provide a massive boost to our economy. The GAA brand would receive worldwide coverage and our image would be significantly boosted.’
Mr Burke concluded by citing the positive economic impact that the Volvo Ocean Race and the Compromise Rules have produced in Galway, which he thinks would be repeated should Pearse Stadium be used as a hosting stadium in the Rugby World Cup tournament.
The motion, which has been accepted by the Galway County Board, will be pitched at the annual GAA congress next year.