A major development plan for the historic Fitzgerald Stadium in Killarney is scheduled to be formally launched next month, KillarneyToday.com can confirm.
The project – Fitzgerald Stadium: Vision 2023 – is being undertaken by senior Kerry County Board officials, spearheaded by chairman Patrick O’Sullivan, the Fitzgerald Stadium Committee, chaired by Der Brosnan, and several local business interests who have been invited to add their expertise and experience to the redevelopment plan.
Consultants have conducted extensive research to devise a major plan to redevelop the stadium which is badly in need of an upgrade.
A promotional campaign for the project recalls that in 1936 a dream to commemorate Dick Fitzgerald became a reality when the stadium was officially opened.
“Now, it’s time to dream again,” it states.
Over the years many great event and sporting occasions have been held in the stadium, most recently the Kerry v Mayo championship clash, which attracted more than 20,000 supporters, on Saturday afternoon.
A major fundraising initiative will be launched next month and all interest parties will be invited to attend to learn of the nature of the plans.
It was revealed late last year that the initial indications were that the major upgrade works for the stadium will cost in the region of €72.5 million and the plan is to seek support from the GAA and government agencies as well as launching a major fundraising campaign.
Chairman Patrick O’Sullivan said the venue, which runs from Lewis Road to Dalton’s Avenue, needs “a major re-fit” as a multi-events facility to cater for the needs of the people of Kerry in the future.
The plan is to create an ultra-modern stadium equipped to cater for big sporting occasions in a number of codes as well as major entertainment acts.
Fitzgerald stadium previously played host to a number of major concerts, including Elton John, Tom Jones, Rod Stewart, Pink, Westlife, The Pussycat Dolls, Sheryl Crow, The Corrs, The Cranberries, Simple Minds and David Grey and they proved a huge money-spinner for the town.
Kerry GAA officials have already met with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar – who visited the stadium – Tanáiste Micheál Martin and other senior politicians to discuss their plans.
It is understood that the Killarney plan will also include propsosals to develop a Kerry GAA museum which would be a year-round tourist attraction capable of creating a number of full-time jobs.
Given its accommodation base and the huge influx of visitors to the town every year, Killarney is seen as the ideal venue for the development.
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