Lansdowne Road

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Lansdowne Road
Lansdowne Road
Facility Statistics
Location Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, Ireland
Broke Ground
Opened 1872
Renovated 20052009
Surface Grass (1872–present)
Owner Irish Rugby Football Union
Original Construction Cost IR£
Reconstruction Cost 365 million
Seating Capacity

Lansdowne Road is the name of both a neighbourhood in Dublin, Ireland, and a major sport stadium located in that neighbourhood. In international usage, "Lansdowne Road" generally refers to the stadium.

The neighbourhood is situtated in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, Republic of Ireland. It touches the River Dodder and has many fine redbrick houses, mostly Victorian.

The stadium is the traditional home of both rugby union in Ireland and since the eclipse of Dalymount Park, of football as well. As well as being the oldest surviving international rugby venue it is also the second oldest international football venue still in regular use after the Millennium Stadium. It is owned by the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU), and has a total capacity of 49,250. However, competitive international football matches cannot use the entire capacity because the stands at both ends of the ground (North and South) are standing-room terraces. FIFA and UEFA both mandate that international matches be played in all-seated venues; this reduces the capacity of Lansdowne Road to about 35,000 for competitive football matches. The International Rugby Board does not impose this restriction on international rugby venues. For non competitive international football matches (friendly matches), the UEFA mandate does not apply.

In the IRFU grounds, Irish rugby and soccer international matches are played. The ground is also home to Wanderers and Lansdowne Rugby clubs. Leinster have also used the ground on a number of occassions when crowd size has meant their traditional home of Donnybrook is not large enough. In 1999 and 2003 Landsdowne road played host to the Heineken Cup final. Since 1990, Lansdowne has also hosted the FAI Cup Final The grounds have also occasionally been used for music concerts.

The stadium is set to be redeveloped by 2009 creating a 50,000 all-seater soccer and rugby stadium. The redevelopment of the stadium was finally announced in January 2004 at a cost of approximately €365 million; of this, €167 million will come from the Irish government, with the remainder paid by the IRFU and Football Association of Ireland.

It has been decided that soccer and rugby games will be played in Croke Park while it is being redeveloped. Croke Park is the only stadium big enough in Dublin, and it belongs to the Gaelic Athletic Association, whose constitution until recently did not allow foreign games to be played on their grounds.

The stadium has some of the best and most convenient public transport links of any stadium in the world, as the Lansdowne Road station of the Dublin Area Rapid Transit rail system is adjacent to the stadium. In fact, the DART line passes directly underneath the West Stand.

External link

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