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Thread: Oriel Park's Re-Development

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    Oriel Park's Re-Development

    Dundalk FC Press Release - "Preparing For The Future"
    16 February 2005
    The following is included as part of a press-pack given out at Thursday morning's Press Conference to launch the new playing surface.

    Introduction
    Through the years Dundalk has been one of the great clubs of Irish soccer. We intend that soon it will be again. The Club has been through hell and high water over the past number of years with poor performances both on and off the field.

    Today the formal launch of our new state of the art all weather pitch sees the first tangible result of the hard work that has been going on quietly but feverishly in the background in the past number of months. The Club has drawn up plans to introduce stability and steady progress over the next number of years. We do not expect instant success either on or off the field but we will see continuing progress.

    Our plans of necessity revolve around good business and financial models. We must use and develop our resources so as to deliver a steady income stream and cost savings in order to provide the funding and certainty our coaches need to develop the football side of the Club. Jim Gannon and his coaching colleagues are very much behind this strategy and they are keen to lay down the solid base that will attract the best young talent to the Club where they will get the very best development possible. The future has to be good with this approach.

    This approach is what is guiding the Club in all its activities and all its plans.

    All-weather pitch
    Our playing area is one of the great resources of the Club. Realistically it is used up to now a couple of times a fortnight. And it cost over €30,000 a year to maintain. The new pitch will save the Club that expenditure and it will provide a solid source of income from rental at times when our own teams are not using it. We already have had enquiries from Clubs – not all soccer- about it.
    A further benefit is that the pitch will be used for community activities by schools, underage teams, residents associations, factories and so on. This is very important to Dundalk FC who intend to re-instate the Club as the focus of sport in the North East of the Country.

    It goes without saying that the pitch will be playable in almost all conditions and it will always play in the same way – like a good quality, well-cared for summer grass surface. Almost by definition this will lead to an improvement in the skills of players who will have the opportunity to train and play on a high quality surface.

    The new pitch will also play a further part in the business plan for the Club. We will soon be in a position to provide light catering for anyone using it. This means that people using the pitch can come into the clubhouse afterwards for a bit to eat and drink, to watch TV sport etc.

    Elsewhere in this package you will find the technical specifications for the new surface. Suffice to say that it has UEFA and FIFA approval for all competition games right up to European Finals for example. Taken in conjunction with the other planned major improvements in our facilities, this means that when Dundalk qualifies for European Competitions the Club will line out in Oriel Park for its home games.

    Finally, the arrival of the new pitch will bring the playing area about 10 metres closer to the fans at the Main Stand side of the ground. There is no doubt that this will improve the atmosphere at matches.

    The ‘Shed’ Terrace
    The ‘Shed’ terrace needs upgrading and with the movement of the pitch towards the Main Stand, it needs to be re-sited. Our plans include a complete re-development of this part of the Ground. An exact timescale has not yet been fixed. This will depend on the outcome of talks with our engineers and, of course, on prudent management of our finances.

    Further development work that will take place in the immediate future includes the creation of high-quality toilet facilities in all sections of the ground and the introduction of refreshment facilities in each area.

    New Changing Area
    In order to comply with UEFA licensing Requirements the Club will build a new changing suite at the Hiney Park corner of Oriel Park. This will incorporate two main changing rooms, four others for use by groups leasing the all-weather pitch and two Referee changing rooms. There will also be a medical room, a doping test area and a Press and interview area. Reopening the long disused entrance from McDermott’s Terrace will provide security for teams. The Carrick Road end of the ground will be considerably enhanced with tarmac in the area behind the goals to allow for secure parking for events in the Clubhouse.

    New Stand Seating
    Before the start of the new season the Main Stand will be equipped with individual seating (replacing the old wooden seats) in order to meet Licensing requirements. Additional seating will be added in parts of the ground at a later stage as the Club prepares for Premier Division status. The Stand will also have additional exits to the front of the stand and much wider aisles up and down the seating area. Both of these together with emergency lighting will bring the facilities in the Stand up to the safety requirements for a modern entertainment venue as well as providing enhanced spectator comfort.

    Entertainment Areas
    Under the Stand we will shortly commence work on the enhancement of our bar and conference facilities. We intend that they will become places where our members and their guests will enjoy the highest standards for a post-match drink, a family or work party, a Club function or a business meeting. There will be an area where our regular visitors can enjoy a quiet chat even on the occasion of a function at the Club. The existing away changing room and the referees’ room will be incorporated into the entertainment area. We have no doubt that, properly marketed, these areas will add considerably to the Club’s off-field income.

    Regional Coaching
    Dundalk FC is working with the other clubs and leagues in the area to provide the type of proposal to the FAI that will ensure the placement of one of the FAI Regional Coaching Centres in the North East. The developments at Oriel Park, the quality of other sports facilities and the presence of JJB Sports and Dundalk Institute of Technology with its existing sports courses together with the area’s infrastructure, accommodation and other facilities will be a great bonus in the proposal. Apart from the obvious prestige such a facility will attract, the potential for huge revenue for the area is great. Dundalk FC will play its part in swinging the support of the local business community behind the proposal and ensuring its success.

    Funding
    All of these developments and others still in gestation require a lot of financing. A good proportion of the money for pitch and other ground development comes from a Department of Sport grant designed to help clubs meet licensing requirements and to ensure future viability. The rest comes from financing negotiated by the Club and based on our business plans.

    The Future
    Changes have already started in the development of club structures. Within a very short time Dundalk FC will provide ample evidence of good business acumen and develop the type of solid commercial foundation that will attract investment from the business community and further funding through advertising and support for games and other Club activities.

    The plans are there.

    Today’s launch of our new FieldTurf pitch is but the first step in the re-creation of a great Club.

    http://www.dundalkfc.com/news/050217_PressRelease.html

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    An all weather pitch could be a major fundrasier for them, as they said. Since it can be used round the clock you could constantly have teams playing on it but also do what Dunfermline do and charge punters a price to rent it out so that they could have a game of football with their mates inside the stadium, that'd be espically appealing to their fans.

    I wonder if it's any use though, the one in Scotland is getting terrible stick from everyone but I heard this ones different.

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    It's FIFA and UEFA approved so there's no point in other clubs complaining anyway.

    Good business sense from Dundalk to cut down on grounkeeping costs and get a potential new source of revenue.

    Oriel Park could be a good spot for concerts as its roughly half way between Belfast and Dublin.

    I was wondering why hirsute egg thrower Shane Byrne was at the pitch launch but saw on TV3 last night that he's a director of the company laying the pitch.
    I'm what? I'm ants at a picnic?

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    TV3 said last night - "the first game in the new oriel park will take place in april" ....I thought the league season was starting in March?

    Anyway this is great news for the club, loads of people will probably come to games to see what the new pitch is like due to the media attention it has gotten at the start of the season and maybe come to more games and help raise our attendences.
    Last edited by holidaysong; 18/02/2005 at 11:38 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buller
    The Club has drawn up plans to introduce stability and steady progress over the next number of years. We do not expect instant success either on or off the field but we will see continuing progress.

    We must use and develop our resources so as to deliver a steady income stream and cost savings in order to provide the funding and certainty our coaches need to develop the football side of the Club. Jim Gannon and his coaching colleagues are very much behind this strategy and they are keen to lay down the solid base that will attract the best young talent to the Club where they will get the very best development possible. The future has to be good with this approach.
    This is the way clubs must start to think and develop, and it is in no small part due to the implementation of UEFA licensing in forcing clubs to think this way.

    No slight on Dundalk, we had our own days of financial irresponsibility, but this is where we start to see the effect of the licensing process in forcing clubs to be sensible.

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    Seasoned Pro Kingdom's Avatar
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    The pitch in Dunfermiline is the old type of Astro (like Luton in the early 90's) but it is still endorsed by UEFIFA.

    AFAIK the pitch Dundalk are laying is the new type of stro pitch thatis becoming more and more common. It is more or less fake grass and thoroughly safe to play on. Even on the wet nights its grand and mouldey studded boots can be worn on it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by holidaysong
    TV3 said last night - "the first game in the new oriel park will take place in april" ....I thought the league season was starting in March?
    The season starts on the last weekend in March. Dundalk have asked for their opening league game to be away from home in case the pitch/ground wasn't ready in time. Therefore the first league game will be in April (don't know about friendlies mind you)
    Last edited by monutdfc; 18/02/2005 at 1:06 PM.

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    One or two home Dundalk games might have to switched until the pitch is ready.
    I'm what? I'm ants at a picnic?

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    Seasoned Pro holidaysong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by monutdfc
    The season starts on the last weekend in March. Dundalk have asked for their opening league game to be away from home in case the pitch/ground wasn't ready in time. Therefore the first league game will be in April (don't know about friendlies mind you)
    Ah ok, all our friendlies are away by the way.

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    Well done Dundalk on the new pitch. Will definitely make the trip to see it this season. Hope it will be worth it.
    Mr T is right. Now that all clubs have got their licences this season, it shows that progress is happening in the eL and long may it continue.
    If you don't like John 3:7...
    There's always Limerick 37!

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    The artificial pitch should be worth a goal a game to Dundalk in most games, and it makes financial sense so fair play to them. Personally I think it's a load of ******. I've played on this new surface, and although it is far superior to astroturf make NO mistake it is nothing like natural grass. Slide tackle at your peril despite the cute pieces of rubber predending to be soil.
    Mr Blatter is a total tool for allowing these pitches to be used competitively, training no problem, but otherwise it's a joke.

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    Seasoned Pro gspain's Avatar
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    Well done Dundalk best of luck.

    BTW hope you used the old Northern bank notes and not the news ones to pay for it.

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    Hopefully with the extra revenue they will actually pay their players this season, unlike last season when the club was issuing rubber cheques all over the place.

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