Despite dealing with hugely decreased income streams and the effects of the ongoing global pandemic, Louth GAA are finalising preparations to begin the tendering process for a new €12m stadium.
Stadium chairperson Aidan Berrill and development committee members are completing design documentation on the new county grounds and expect tendering to start in the coming weeks.
Preparation has already started in terms of drain operations, tidying the site up, and the board has already put 5000 loads of filling into the Dundalk inner relief road site.
Construction work on the stadium is due to start this summer.
Louth GAA will be expected to foot at least a third of the €12m bill and a committee is already driving badly needed fundraising for the project.
“We are the only ones without a county grounds in the country, but this is going to be a huge development for everyone in Louth GAA,” chairman Peter Fitzpatrick said.
Stadium development chairperson Aidan Berrill added: “It will be the first new county grounds built in Ireland in decades.
“Building a new stadium is a costly undertaking, but allied with the support from local authorities, from Croke Park, from the government, and from all Louth gaels, we have initiated a fundraising drive to raise much-needed funds towards the state-of-the-art stadium”.
One of the concepts chosen by the board’s fundraising arm was a concept called ‘Pickahouse’ where the county board has put two houses up for grabs as grand prizes for a draw which will be held in early April.
‘Pickahouse’ administrator Clodagh Culligan, explains: “Other counties have gone down the route of the single house draw. Our team felt that we needed to come up with a concept that was unique. We’re giving two houses away. Two chances to win a dream home. And there is a third prize of €10,000 up for grabs too.”
The new 14,000-seat stadium will serve as the home of all Louth teams. The county currently plays home matches at the 3,500-seat Drogheda Park.
But the new venue will feature a 4,080-seat stand containing two kiosks, four dressing rooms and a physio room.
The standing terrace on the opposite side of the ground will house 8,470 fans and include a spectators’ team room, two kiosks, three press boxes and a storeroom.
Two standing areas will be placed behind the goals, each with a capacity of 725 people, while the stadium will also feature a 145m by 90m main pitch and a 90m by 65m warm-up pitch.
Tickets for the house draws are available from all Louth GAA clubs or from www.pickahouse.ie.