Author Topic: Casement Park in line for major overhaul - 40,000 all seater Stadium.  (Read 233054 times)

Farrandeelin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8689
  • Hey buckaroo! How are you?
    • View Profile
Re: Casement Park in line for major overhaul - 40,000 all seater Stadium.
« Reply #2595 on: June 06, 2017, 07:05:56 AM »
Ah Evil Genius, welcome back.
The woman in red has the car parked on the slope.

snatter

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 632
    • View Profile
Re: Casement Park in line for major overhaul - 40,000 all seater Stadium.
« Reply #2596 on: June 19, 2017, 06:59:29 PM »
I thought SF were in favour if the Long Kesh thing but intransigent Unionists blocked it???
Then the 3 stadIan upgrades was the compromise.

It was the three sporting organisations that wanted their own separate stadia that ended the single stadium but if SF had the vision to see how a GAA stadium alongside the RUAS site could have created all of the infrastructure needed for its proposed museum to include a H block from the prison.  The McGuinness and Robinson fell out about the museum/centre. DUP vetoed the museum/centre and SF vetoed the expenditure to build a proper motorway connection for the site to spite the users of the RUAS site and now the two helicopter ambulances based at the Maze site.
This is incorrect.

Both UR and the IFA agreed to migrate to the Maze - the then IFA CEO, Howard Wells, confirmed as such in a letter to the Sports Minister, Edwin Poots, in 2007:
"May I reiterate the IFA's position. On 20 January 2006 we made a commitment to work with central government to deliver a new multi-purpose stadium on the site of the Maze with certain caveats - that the business plan proved viable; that the planned infrastructure at the site was conducive to promoting sport; that government would commit to maintaining Windsor Park at viable levels in the interim and that the Licence Agreement between the IFA and Linfield FC could be resolved."
He went on:
"So, further procrastination has the potential to lead us nowhere other than down a blind alley. There appears to be no commitment from the public or private sectors to fund a Belfast located stadium in the foreseeable future, or to pay for the refit of Windsor Park. It is unlikely that any Belfast driven initiative will sit well with the concept of a shared future. The IFA is very keen to work with the other two sports to drive change and to market sport across all the sections of the community."
And:
"Thirteen of the sixteen senior clubs are totally supportive of a stadium being built at the Maze. It is within an hour of almost all destinations in Northern Ireland. The MORI poll commissioned by the IFA in 2005 suggested that there was support for a new stadium at the Maze and from families and females who currently do not attend."

Now Wells was certainly a politician (small "p"), and such a view was unpopular with NI football fans. Nonetheless, this was the IFA's official position right up until the project was canned.

And further, the stadium was canned not due to "Unionist intransigence" (though there were disputes over issues like the Museum etc); rather it was entirely due to DCAL's civil servants concluding that the business case for a Maze stadium did not add up, therefore public money could/should not be spent for this purpose.

Instead, it was agreed to split the money up between the three bodies to spend on individual stadia in Belfast. UR appears to be happy with the revamped Ravenhill and the IFA, organisation and fans, are happy with the rebuilt Windsor (even if some now feel its capacity is too small).

Complete c0ck. A lame attempt to rewrite history.
 
The truth is simple. And the simple truth is that the Maze shared stadium was torpedoed by Unionist opposition. The three sports bodies had agreed to a share a single stadium, but it was grassroots pressure on the DUP from the likes of the NI Supporters and EvilGenius that led the DUP to scupper the plans. The fear of playing NI games in a half empty bowl haunted them.

Here's a refresher from The Guardian, summarises it perfectly:

Minister to bar national sports stadium at Maze

· Unionists opposed £140m scheme at former prison
· Decision is blow to SDLP and Sinn Féin

A plan to build a £140m national sports stadium on the site of the Maze prison in Northern Ireland is to be abandoned amid opposition from unionists.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2008/may/02/northernireland.northernirelandfootballteam


stephenite

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4451
  • Ballina Stephenites
    • View Profile
Re: Casement Park in line for major overhaul - 40,000 all seater Stadium.
« Reply #2597 on: June 19, 2017, 09:29:19 PM »
Was in Belfast the other day for the first time in donkeys years, I noted that the stands of the oval were still there, are Glentoran still playing there? Do Cliftonvlle still play at Solitude? Is Seaview still open for Crusaders?

lenny

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1156
    • View Profile
Re: Casement Park in line for major overhaul - 40,000 all seater Stadium.
« Reply #2598 on: June 19, 2017, 09:43:13 PM »
Was in Belfast the other day for the first time in donkeys years, I noted that the stands of the oval were still there, are Glentoran still playing there? Do Cliftonvlle still play at Solitude? Is Seaview still open for Crusaders?

Yes

Evil Genius

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3996
    • View Profile
Re: Casement Park in line for major overhaul - 40,000 all seater Stadium.
« Reply #2599 on: June 20, 2017, 12:46:26 AM »
I thought SF were in favour if the Long Kesh thing but intransigent Unionists blocked it???
Then the 3 stadIan upgrades was the compromise.

It was the three sporting organisations that wanted their own separate stadia that ended the single stadium but if SF had the vision to see how a GAA stadium alongside the RUAS site could have created all of the infrastructure needed for its proposed museum to include a H block from the prison.  The McGuinness and Robinson fell out about the museum/centre. DUP vetoed the museum/centre and SF vetoed the expenditure to build a proper motorway connection for the site to spite the users of the RUAS site and now the two helicopter ambulances based at the Maze site.
This is incorrect.

Both UR and the IFA agreed to migrate to the Maze - the then IFA CEO, Howard Wells, confirmed as such in a letter to the Sports Minister, Edwin Poots, in 2007:
"May I reiterate the IFA's position. On 20 January 2006 we made a commitment to work with central government to deliver a new multi-purpose stadium on the site of the Maze with certain caveats - that the business plan proved viable; that the planned infrastructure at the site was conducive to promoting sport; that government would commit to maintaining Windsor Park at viable levels in the interim and that the Licence Agreement between the IFA and Linfield FC could be resolved."
He went on:
"So, further procrastination has the potential to lead us nowhere other than down a blind alley. There appears to be no commitment from the public or private sectors to fund a Belfast located stadium in the foreseeable future, or to pay for the refit of Windsor Park. It is unlikely that any Belfast driven initiative will sit well with the concept of a shared future. The IFA is very keen to work with the other two sports to drive change and to market sport across all the sections of the community."
And:
"Thirteen of the sixteen senior clubs are totally supportive of a stadium being built at the Maze. It is within an hour of almost all destinations in Northern Ireland. The MORI poll commissioned by the IFA in 2005 suggested that there was support for a new stadium at the Maze and from families and females who currently do not attend."

Now Wells was certainly a politician (small "p"), and such a view was unpopular with NI football fans. Nonetheless, this was the IFA's official position right up until the project was canned.

And further, the stadium was canned not due to "Unionist intransigence" (though there were disputes over issues like the Museum etc); rather it was entirely due to DCAL's civil servants concluding that the business case for a Maze stadium did not add up, therefore public money could/should not be spent for this purpose.

Instead, it was agreed to split the money up between the three bodies to spend on individual stadia in Belfast. UR appears to be happy with the revamped Ravenhill and the IFA, organisation and fans, are happy with the rebuilt Windsor (even if some now feel its capacity is too small).

Complete c0ck. A lame attempt to rewrite history.
 
The truth is simple. And the simple truth is that the Maze shared stadium was torpedoed by Unionist opposition. The three sports bodies had agreed to a share a single stadium, but it was grassroots pressure on the DUP from the likes of the NI Supporters and EvilGenius that led the DUP to scupper the plans. The fear of playing NI games in a half empty bowl haunted them.

Here's a refresher from The Guardian, summarises it perfectly:

Minister to bar national sports stadium at Maze

· Unionists opposed £140m scheme at former prison
· Decision is blow to SDLP and Sinn Féin

A plan to build a £140m national sports stadium on the site of the Maze prison in Northern Ireland is to be abandoned amid opposition from unionists.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2008/may/02/northernireland.northernirelandfootballteam
Your "truth" may be simple, but I prefer to deal in facts.

First, I was responding to 'Owen Brannigan' when he claimed that "it was the three sporting organisations that wanted their own separate stadia". And whatever the position of the GAA and UR, neither of whom was in desperate need, the IFA had no choice, since Windsor was deemed unfit by FIFA to stage international matches (it had been living on borrowed time as it was). And in the absence of any alternative (neither Ravenhill nor Casement met FIFA requirements), they would be forced to play their "home" games outside of NI. Therefore they were entirely dependant upon what was on offer from HMG, i.e. the Maze. Which explains the Wells letter I quoted.
As for opposition by NI fans and me(!), if you imagine that the IFA were listening to the fans, then you're deluded, seriously deluded! Or did you not actually read the Wells letter, where he claimed it was supported by the fans?

Second, the position of "Unionists" was decidedly mixed. Edwin Poots, for example, was all for a redevelopment of the Maze, including the stadium - it was in his constituency, after all. And colleagues in the DUP also recognised that the proposed stadium was only one element of a potentially huge regeneration project for the site (houses, retail, industry etc), which would be in a majority Unionist area.

However, it was without question a recommendation by civil servants in DCAL in 2008/09 that the Stadium would not be economically feasible on that site which ultimately scuppered it.

Which explains why as late as September 2012, Peter Robinson was still pursuing the redevelopment of the site by appointing his old buddy, Terence Branigan, to be Chairman of the Maze/Long Kesh Development Corporation:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-19543575

Which is not to say that the Conflict Transformation Centre wasn't controversial - Jim Allister referred to "The 180-degree turn which the DUP has perfected on the Maze Shrine" - and therefore a complicating factor. But following the Crash of 2008, the whole project ultimately collapsed before it ever got built, because the private investment element necessary to the project's overall success was not forthcoming.

P.S. Of course NI fans were opposed to playing in a half empty bowl in a field in the middle of nowhere - but that was nothing to do with sharing with the other tenants. After all, if you're playing in a stadium on a Saturday evening, why should it matter if the rugby boys had played there the previous Friday evening, or the GAA boys would be playing the following Sunday afternoon? Fact is, it would have been entirely unsuitable for our needs, as the subsequent successful redevelopment of WP at significantly lower cost has demonstrated.

« Last Edit: June 20, 2017, 12:49:03 AM by Evil Genius »
"If you come in here again, you'd better bring guns"
"We don't need guns"
"Yes you fuckin' do"

Lar Naparka

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3572
  • I just know this is gonna be our year!
    • View Profile
Re: Casement Park in line for major overhaul - 40,000 all seater Stadium.
« Reply #2600 on: June 20, 2017, 01:46:13 AM »
Ah Evil Genius, welcome back.
+1
I hope you stay around; you were missed. ;D

Dougal Maguire

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1163
    • View Profile
Re: Casement Park in line for major overhaul - 40,000 all seater Stadium.
« Reply #2601 on: June 20, 2017, 03:22:50 AM »
Crawler. He's a one trick pony and he's better well away
Careful now

stephenite

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4451
  • Ballina Stephenites
    • View Profile
Re: Casement Park in line for major overhaul - 40,000 all seater Stadium.
« Reply #2602 on: June 20, 2017, 03:36:10 AM »
Was in Belfast the other day for the first time in donkeys years, I noted that the stands of the oval were still there, are Glentoran still playing there? Do Cliftonvlle still play at Solitude? Is Seaview still open for Crusaders?

Yes

Lunacy.

snatter

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 632
    • View Profile
Re: Casement Park in line for major overhaul - 40,000 all seater Stadium.
« Reply #2603 on: June 20, 2017, 09:00:26 PM »
I thought SF were in favour if the Long Kesh thing but intransigent Unionists blocked it???
Then the 3 stadIan upgrades was the compromise.

It was the three sporting organisations that wanted their own separate stadia that ended the single stadium but if SF had the vision to see how a GAA stadium alongside the RUAS site could have created all of the infrastructure needed for its proposed museum to include a H block from the prison.  The McGuinness and Robinson fell out about the museum/centre. DUP vetoed the museum/centre and SF vetoed the expenditure to build a proper motorway connection for the site to spite the users of the RUAS site and now the two helicopter ambulances based at the Maze site.
This is incorrect.

Both UR and the IFA agreed to migrate to the Maze - the then IFA CEO, Howard Wells, confirmed as such in a letter to the Sports Minister, Edwin Poots, in 2007:
"May I reiterate the IFA's position. On 20 January 2006 we made a commitment to work with central government to deliver a new multi-purpose stadium on the site of the Maze with certain caveats - that the business plan proved viable; that the planned infrastructure at the site was conducive to promoting sport; that government would commit to maintaining Windsor Park at viable levels in the interim and that the Licence Agreement between the IFA and Linfield FC could be resolved."
He went on:
"So, further procrastination has the potential to lead us nowhere other than down a blind alley. There appears to be no commitment from the public or private sectors to fund a Belfast located stadium in the foreseeable future, or to pay for the refit of Windsor Park. It is unlikely that any Belfast driven initiative will sit well with the concept of a shared future. The IFA is very keen to work with the other two sports to drive change and to market sport across all the sections of the community."
And:
"Thirteen of the sixteen senior clubs are totally supportive of a stadium being built at the Maze. It is within an hour of almost all destinations in Northern Ireland. The MORI poll commissioned by the IFA in 2005 suggested that there was support for a new stadium at the Maze and from families and females who currently do not attend."

Now Wells was certainly a politician (small "p"), and such a view was unpopular with NI football fans. Nonetheless, this was the IFA's official position right up until the project was canned.

And further, the stadium was canned not due to "Unionist intransigence" (though there were disputes over issues like the Museum etc); rather it was entirely due to DCAL's civil servants concluding that the business case for a Maze stadium did not add up, therefore public money could/should not be spent for this purpose.

Instead, it was agreed to split the money up between the three bodies to spend on individual stadia in Belfast. UR appears to be happy with the revamped Ravenhill and the IFA, organisation and fans, are happy with the rebuilt Windsor (even if some now feel its capacity is too small).

Complete c0ck. A lame attempt to rewrite history.
 
The truth is simple. And the simple truth is that the Maze shared stadium was torpedoed by Unionist opposition. The three sports bodies had agreed to a share a single stadium, but it was grassroots pressure on the DUP from the likes of the NI Supporters and EvilGenius that led the DUP to scupper the plans. The fear of playing NI games in a half empty bowl haunted them.

Here's a refresher from The Guardian, summarises it perfectly:

Minister to bar national sports stadium at Maze

· Unionists opposed £140m scheme at former prison
· Decision is blow to SDLP and Sinn Féin

A plan to build a £140m national sports stadium on the site of the Maze prison in Northern Ireland is to be abandoned amid opposition from unionists.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2008/may/02/northernireland.northernirelandfootballteam
Your "truth" may be simple, but I prefer to deal in facts.

First, I was responding to 'Owen Brannigan' when he claimed that "it was the three sporting organisations that wanted their own separate stadia". And whatever the position of the GAA and UR, neither of whom was in desperate need, the IFA had no choice, since Windsor was deemed unfit by FIFA to stage international matches (it had been living on borrowed time as it was). And in the absence of any alternative (neither Ravenhill nor Casement met FIFA requirements), they would be forced to play their "home" games outside of NI. Therefore they were entirely dependant upon what was on offer from HMG, i.e. the Maze. Which explains the Wells letter I quoted.
As for opposition by NI fans and me(!), if you imagine that the IFA were listening to the fans, then you're deluded, seriously deluded! Or did you not actually read the Wells letter, where he claimed it was supported by the fans?

Second, the position of "Unionists" was decidedly mixed. Edwin Poots, for example, was all for a redevelopment of the Maze, including the stadium - it was in his constituency, after all. And colleagues in the DUP also recognised that the proposed stadium was only one element of a potentially huge regeneration project for the site (houses, retail, industry etc), which would be in a majority Unionist area.

However, it was without question a recommendation by civil servants in DCAL in 2008/09 that the Stadium would not be economically feasible on that site which ultimately scuppered it.

Which explains why as late as September 2012, Peter Robinson was still pursuing the redevelopment of the site by appointing his old buddy, Terence Branigan, to be Chairman of the Maze/Long Kesh Development Corporation:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-19543575

Which is not to say that the Conflict Transformation Centre wasn't controversial - Jim Allister referred to "The 180-degree turn which the DUP has perfected on the Maze Shrine" - and therefore a complicating factor. But following the Crash of 2008, the whole project ultimately collapsed before it ever got built, because the private investment element necessary to the project's overall success was not forthcoming.

P.S. Of course NI fans were opposed to playing in a half empty bowl in a field in the middle of nowhere - but that was nothing to do with sharing with the other tenants. After all, if you're playing in a stadium on a Saturday evening, why should it matter if the rugby boys had played there the previous Friday evening, or the GAA boys would be playing the following Sunday afternoon? Fact is, it would have been entirely unsuitable for our needs, as the subsequent successful redevelopment of WP at significantly lower cost has demonstrated.

None of which alters the simple truth - the Maze shared stadium was torpedoed by Unionists.

From The Guardian report - https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2008/may/02/northernireland.northernirelandfootballteam

Quote
But the two main unionist parties - with some individual exceptions - were opposed to the project. Some soccer supporters' clubs have also campaigned against it.

Senior sources inside Robinson's Democratic Unionist party said the Maze stadium was "dead in the water". The DUP has refused officially to comment, but one DUP source said: "It will come within the next four weeks, probably before Peter moves from finance to the office of first minister. It will be a popular move within the party, the majority of whom hate the idea of building a national stadium anywhere near a shrine to terrorists.

"The party has also been listening to the majority of Northern Ireland football fans, who are resolutely opposed to moving to the Maze."

Applesisapples

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3444
    • View Profile
Re: Casement Park in line for major overhaul - 40,000 all seater Stadium.
« Reply #2604 on: June 21, 2017, 10:27:12 AM »
There was not much love within the wider GAA (outside of the Ulster Council) for a so called national stadium. I for one am glad it did not proceed.

Evil Genius

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3996
    • View Profile
Re: Casement Park in line for major overhaul - 40,000 all seater Stadium.
« Reply #2605 on: June 22, 2017, 12:54:03 AM »
None of which alters the simple truth - the Maze shared stadium was torpedoed by Unionists.
That may be technically correct, in that any such stadium had to be agreed by all four main parties before it could go ahead.

But such a narrow interpretation is highly misleading. For the real reason why the stadium was scrapped was because the civil servants in the Dept. of Finance at Stormont (not DCAL) determined that it was not financially viable. I know, because I heard that directly from someone who works there and it was alluded to publicly at the time.

Consequently, all the other disagreements over the stadium were irrelevant.

And if you examine the stadium story in its entirety, hindsight shows the civil servants were quite correct.

First, Westminster having "gifted" the Maze site to NI as a kind of "GFA dowry", it was further acknowledged that sports stadia in NI were very outdated. Therefore Westminster determined to boost the Maze's chances of succeeding by "killing two birds with one stone" and insisting that a new multi-sports stadium be sited there. (They went through an exercise in considering other stadium sites eg North Foreshore and TQ etc, but those were never a runner, esp when the cost of site purchase was included). Finally, they came up with the concept of "shared space" to make it seem politically desirable.

However, when the initial PR spin was properly examined, the stadium was never going to pay its way. For one thing, the estimated construction cost grew rapidly. Second, they realised that the cost of upgrading access (motorways and rail etc) would have to be added to the stadium bill. And thereafter, they realised that the venue would not be used nearly so often as its proponents claimed, so would not cover the operating costs, never mind repay the build costs.

For example, iirc Ulster Rugby never actually guaranteed they'd play all their games there, since the IRFU own Ravenhill, and so didn't want to undermine their own property. (Besides, 42k was far too big for them) And the fact that Ulster GAA has been able to manage without either Casement or the Maze for all these years shows how little need there actually was from that quarter. Meanwhile, NI only play half a dozen internationals at home each year (max), and at that time were struggling to achieve 5 figure crowds. (In their desperation, it was asserted that a number of domestic club games could be played at the Maze, games which normally attract 2k or 3k max!). Whereas subsequent experience at the redeveloped 18k Windsor has proved that 42k was far too big for football, esp at a hard-to-access stadium, in an unsuitable location, with the spectators miles from the action on a pitch big enough to accommodate Gaelic sports.

And as for all those huge pop concerts that would be staged there... bonkers!

Of course, the stadium was only one aspect of a project which was hoped to attract numerous new industries, leisure/retail facilities and housing etc, and create thousands of jobs. So that even after the stadium was scrapped (early 2009), the politicians at Stormont were still proceeding with the wider project (see the Robinson/Brannigan link, above).

And in the course of that,  there was a great deal of "politicking" along the way (CTC/Terrorist Shrine, delete as prejudices dictate). Then again, it is NI we're talking about!

But in the end, the overall project also failed to get off the ground, essentially because it was always going to require a huge amount of private investment, investment which was never going to be forthcoming after the economic Crash of 2007/08.

Still, the RUAS signed up to it, so it wasn't a complete failure...  ;)

"Here endeth today's Lesson"  :)

« Last Edit: June 22, 2017, 01:04:12 AM by Evil Genius »
"If you come in here again, you'd better bring guns"
"We don't need guns"
"Yes you fuckin' do"

Rossfan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10977
  • Ballaghaderreen CO ROSCOMMON
    • View Profile
    • Roscommon County Board official website
Re: Casement Park in line for major overhaul - 40,000 all seater Stadium.
« Reply #2606 on: June 22, 2017, 12:27:30 PM »
Where is the new Casement project now?
2016 - Hurling League Champions, Football League Semi finalists