Leinster in talks with government over € 10million shortfall for RDS redevelopment


Currently strapped for capital, Leinster Rugby and the RDS are in talks with the government to begin development of their RDS pitches in Ballsbridge, Dublin.

However, an adequate financial envelope to cover the full cost of € 50 million for the large-scale sports infrastructure fund has not yet been put in place.

The project has a building permit and an architectural design has been selected, but the funds to pay for the proposed new land remain 10 million euros below what is required.

There is also a timing issue with the project as the building permit, which was granted in 2016, will expire in 2023. A tenant of RDS, Leinster Rugby has been playing on the pitch since 2007 and has a 25-year deal in place with of the society.

Due to the ongoing process with the government, no start or end date is set as it is unclear whether funding will be approved and construction can begin on the field, which currently hosts most of the matches in Leinster’s home in the United Rugby Championship and the Champions Cup tournaments.

This is not the only time that funding for the project has been delayed due to cost. The original figure when the plan was first brought up was € 26million and was suspended in 2018, as Leinster then waited to see whether he had succeeded in securing government funding under a large sports investment program.

“We [already] we have 10 million euros from the government and we are looking for additional funding for the project, ”said an RDS spokesperson. “The cost of the project is 50 million euros. The costs have gone up. We currently have 40 million euros secured, so there is an outstanding amount of 10 million euros.

“We are currently discussing with the government, the ministry of Catherine Martin and some other ministers also to obtain this amount. We’re ready to go and we have the building permit, so it’s a matter of getting the additional funding. “

Former Trinity College COO, Geraldine Ruane, was named the new RDS CEO last year and took office this year following the retirement of former CEO Michael Duffy.

“There is an ongoing conversation with the government,” added the spokesperson. “Maybe it’s a matter of seeing if there is more money in the National Development Plan for that. Yes it is the same drawing. It hasn’t changed. We are absolutely 100% optimistic about the future. “

Speaking at a virtual town hall in the summer of 2020 with Leinster coach Leo Cullen, Leinster general manager Mick Dawson told the Official Leinster Supporters Club that they continue to be encouraged by land development.

“We have a building permit to build a new, very refined stand there with very good reception facilities,” he said. “That would increase the crowd to around 1,500/2,000 people. It would be state of the art.


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