Cusack Stand redevelopment work under way at Croke Park stadium

The GAA has commenced a €12m (US$13.16m / GB£10.38m) refurbishment of Croke Park’s Cusack Stand. The old Cusack Stand was demolished after the 1993 All-Ireland Football Final and the current structure subsequently opened in 1996 as Phase One of the redevelopment of the entire stadium.

The refurbishment of the 27,000-capacity stand will include replacing the seats in the stand and upgrading the conference centre, suites and bathrooms. The heating system in the stand will also be changed to make it more energy efficient.

Croke Park Stadium Director, Peter McKenna, believes the refurbishment will give the Cusack Stand, now 27 years old, a timely facelift. He told

We do need to keep the building at an appropriate presentation for both our Monday to Friday clients but also for premium seat customers, suite holders, and the general GAA fan.

If you only reflect on where you live yourself, then anyone will tell you that a carpet will only have a certain life before you have to change it, the same with your settee, TV, wallpaper, everything else.

It’s a constant upkeep, repair and maintenance. You can take that domestic environment and multiply it by 1,000 because Croke Park is just a massive facility.

McKenna added:

We take half the population of Galway in here every time we have a full-house, it’s massive. So, there’s lots of repairs and maintenance that goes on a regular basis.

Then material hits its natural life cycle. Big pieces of kit like lifts and escalators, heating systems and so on, all need to be switched out. So, we’re doing a massive job in the Cusack terms of upgrading things that people might never see because they’ll be covered up again.

It also gives us an opportunity to reposition the Cusack Stand as a very important mid-sized conference centre compared to what we’re doing in the Hogan side.

I think it’s an opportunity too for us to put a degree of signature to it. The Hogan side is very much focused on the player and the elite athlete.

What we want to do with the Cusack side is focus on the unsung heroes of the GAA – the volunteer, the mentor, the coaches, and the backroom. The men and women who have made the GAA great without a big song and dance about it. I think that’s probably in keeping with the Cusack as well.

The time-line for the refurbishment is estimated at six months, so it will be completed in good time for next season.

McKenna continued:

We’ve appointed the design-team and the various specialists in terms of mechanical and electrical engineering, and so on. They will then be responsible for getting the construction teams in. We’re going to start this before Christmas and make sure that we’re finished and out the gap before the new season starts.

We’ve got a fairly busy year next year with our games and there’s a window of six months for us start and finish the works and people are confident we’ll do it in that time-frame.

I think we’re all really proud of Croke Park. It really is like a house, it’s where we all belong. There’s something just really special about the place so there will be a huge satisfaction when we complete these works.

McKenna separately told the Irish Independent that 250 reconditioned twin seats from Croke Park’s stands are to go on sale:

They might be suitable for people who have fond memories of some of the iconic moments over the last 28 years, in the case of the Cusack Stand.

People might have private bars or back gardens where they might like to have these original seats, which will be reconditioned.

Croke Park Stadium

As the home of Ireland’s largest sporting and cultural organisation, the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) – Croke Park has played host to iconic moments in Irish sport and history, and to major cultural and international events.

For well over a century, the Jones Road ground has been headquarters of the GAA. Every September, the Association’s two annual marquee events – the GAA All-Ireland Football and Hurling Championship Finals – attract a capacity 82,300 fans, to witness the pinnacle of Gaelic games action in this world-renowned cathedral of sport.

More about Croke Park Stadium

Main image (top): Workers remove seating from the Cusack Stand in Croke Park in preparation for its refurbishment. Courtesy: GAA

Sports Venue Business (SVB) has unveiled a raft of new offerings for 2024 under the SVB LIVE banner, including networking events & a webinar series, culminating in an annual conference & exhibition – to be held at Croke Park Stadium in Dublin on October 9th and 10th – with an Expert Group helping to shape the conversation. The exclusive, subscription-only ‘SVB Global Report’ is now available, outlining New Builds, Renovations & Major Refurbishment projects.

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