CROKE PARK. by Liam Gibbons, Sarah Mulchrone and Orla Grealis. Attendances. In 2009 nearly 2million people visited Croke Park. The largest attendance at Croke Park was in 1961, when 90,556 turned up to watch Down play Offaly in the All Ireland Football Final.
byLiam Gibbons, Sarah Mulchrone and Orla Grealis
The largest attendance at Croke Park was in 1961, when 90,556 turned up to watch Down play Offaly in the All Ireland Football Final.
Croke Park has held the world record for largest attendance at a club rugby union match since 2nd May 2009
Croke Park is a three tier stadium with 7 levels. The total area cover by Croke Park is 16 acres. Total area covered by the roof is 5 acres.
The volume of concrete used during construction was 45,000 cu. m. There was 2,000 tonnes of steel used in the roof of Croke Park. The pipe work used in the plumbing of the stadium covers 10,000 m.
Underground drainage covers 8,000 m. The Hill 16 terrace houses the biggest outdoor screen in Europe. There are approx 116 turnstiles and additional portable ones which are brought out for full house matches
The media area is on Level 7 in the stadium – there are approx 145 seats: approx 90 for print journalists, 40 for radio and 15 for TV. There are 87 corporate boxes, which are sold to businesses who want to bring clients to games. The boxes are on Level 6 in the stadium and contain between 12 – 33 seats.
Today Croke Park is home and headquarters to the GAA, however prior to the Association’s purchase of the stadium in 1913 the grounds had been in private ownership.
In the early years of the GAA All-Ireland Finals were played at a variety of venues around the country. The first finals played at what is now Croke Park took place in March 1896 with Tipperary successful in both codes, beating Kilkenny in the All-Ireland Hurling Final and Meath in the All-Ireland Football Final. Frank Dineen decided to buy the grounds and he paid £3,250 for it on 17th December 1908.
On 27th July 1913 Central Council decided to buy the grounds and re-name it as Croke Memorial Park, a title which was never subsequently used. Dineen sold the grounds to the GAA for £3,500 and Croke Park became the principal grounds of the Association and also its administrative headquarters.Part I
The GAA’s first effort at modernisation was the construction of a terrace area at the northern end of the ground, in what is now Dineen-Hill 16. This was created in 1917 using the rubble from O’Connell Street in Dublin, which had been destroyed in the 1916 Rising.
In 1924 the GAA built a new stand along the Jones Road side of the stadium and took the historic decision to name it the Hogan Stand, in honour of Michael Hogan of Tipperary who had been shot during Bloody Sunday. The Cusack Stand was finally completed in 1938 and cost £50,000 and was regarded as one of the finest in Europe at the time.
In the 1980’s a grand plan for the entire redevelopment of Croke Park was set in train.
This redevelopment was staged in four phases starting in 1993 with a new Cusack Stand and culminating in 2005 with a new Hill 16. The redevelopment was completed in just over 12 years with no disruptions to any All-Ireland Finals. Today Croke Park is one of the largest stadiums in Europe and is the crowning glory of the AssociationPartII
Phase one of the Croke Park redevelopment began in 1993 with the demolition of the old Cusack Stand. By summer 1995 the new Cusack Stand became part of the Dublin skyline. Completed in 1997, this new Cusack Stand is 180m long, 35m high, has a capacity for 25,000 people and contains 46 hospitality suites.
As more of a stand-alone project, in mid-1998 a major high technology Museum incorporating numerous items of GAA memorabilia was opened underneath the Cusack Stand.The Cusack Stand
Phase two started in late 1998 with the demolition of the Canal End Terrace and extension of the new stand completed in time for the 2000 All Ireland finals. In April 2006 The Canal End was renamed the Davin Stand, in honour of Maurice Davin, the first president of the GAA.
This phase also saw the creation of a tunnel which was later named the Ali tunnel in honour of Muhammad Ali and his fight in Croke Park.The Canal End
Phase three saw the building of the new Hogan Stand which completed the stadium's famous 'horseshoe' effect. This required a greater variety of spectator categories to be accommodated including general spectators, corporate patrons, VIPs, broadcast and media services and operations staff.
Extras included a fitted-out mezzanine level for VIPs along with a top-level press media faciliityThe Hogan Stand
After the 2003 Special Olympics, construction began in September on the final phase, replacing the old Hill 16 and Nally Stands with modern terraces that increased the capacity of the stadium to 82,300.This final phase was completed and the new Dineen Hill 16 and Nally Terrace were officially opened by former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in March 2005.
The entire redevelopment of the Stadium cost approx €260 million.Hill 16