- Galway Sportsgrounds
stadium_name = Galway Sportsground
nickname = The Sportsground| location =
surface = Grass
seated_capacity = 7,000 (standing predominently)
opened = 1927
owner = Galway Agricultural Society
tenants = Irish Greyhound Board / Bord Na Gcon &
Connacht Rugby/ Irish Rugby Football Union
Galway Sportsground, also known as The Sportsground, is a multi-use
stadiumin Galway, Ireland. It opened in 1927, with the playing of a soccer match. It is currently used mainly for Greyhound Racing as it is leased to Bord na gCon, the ground is sub-let to Connacht Rugbywho use it as their home stadium to play rugby unionmatches in the Magners Leagueand European Challenge Cupcompetitions.
The stadium is able to hold up to 7,000 people when temporary stands are put in place at either end of the ground.
The regular capacity is 5,500, and the record attendence for a
Magners Leaguefixture is 5,368 on Friday 28th March 2008 against Munster in season 2007-2008 [http://www.magnersleague.com/2056_2531.php] .
The record attendence for a European match was 6,000 on Sunday 25th April 2004 against
Harlequin F.C.(then NEC Harlequins) in the Semi-final of the 2003-2004 Parker Pen Challenge Cup (now the European Challenge Cup) [http://www.ercrugby.com/eng/12_1788.php] .
It is commonly regarded as one of the worst stadiums in the
Magners League, and has been underfunded by the Irish Rugby Football Unionin comparison to the grounds of the other Irish provincial rugby sides. There have been calls for redevelopment, or even a move to a new ground but there are no current plans for any work. The relucatance of the IRFU to invest heavily in the stadium is driven by the lack of ownership of the ground.
In the past few years however the IRFU has helped to fund a new playing surface, New Clubhouse & Terrace and New Floodlighting. In 2008 a new gymnasium is being built, and the redevelopment of the Terrace to provide a roof and some corporate facilities is due to commence also.
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