NEW-LOOK: Interview with John Mullins, Chairman of the Stadium Business Committee for Páirc Uí Chaoimh
In this industry interview, Katie McIntyre speaks with John Mullins, Chairman of the Stadium Business Committee for Páirc Uí Chaoimh, which is currently being redeveloped into a world-class 45,000-capacity stadium.
John, as Chairman of the Stadium Business Committee for Páirc Uí Chaoimh, what are you main responsibilities?
The business committee is a sub-committee of the main committee and we are primarily dealing with the marketing and sales of premium tickets for the stadium.
What were the main drivers for the stadium redevelopment?
The main drivers for the redevelopment was the age of the previous stadium and the requirement to upgrade all facets of the stadium to a modern facility.
What can fans expect from the new Páirc Uí Chaoimh?
Fans and event goers can expect comfort, ease of access, highest safety standards, Hawkeye, Wi-Fi, an excellent state-of-the-art pitch, LED floodlights and an unobstructed view from all locations.
Can you tell us which firms have been charged with delivering the Stadium in terms of Design, Delivery & Project Management?
Malachy Walsh & Partners are the owner’s engineer and John Sisk & Son Construction are the civil engineer. Scott Tallon Walker are the architects.
How is the project being financed and what kinds of revenue generating initiatives do you plan to employ?
The stadium is being financed from Government grant, GAA funding at national, provincial and county level and fundraising in the form of sales of ten year tickets.
How is the stadium build progressing?
The stadium is expected to be handed over on 18th June 2017.
I understand you are also responsible for the sale of premium tickets for the new South Stand and Corporate area, the Priority Club. What can guests expect from the new Stand and Priority Club? And are sales on target?
We have had a very brisk start to sales in the last two weeks. Priority Club members can expect a premium service and excellent views of our national games and concert events. The Priority Club will also be used as a conference venue on non-match days akin to Croke Park and the AVIVA in Dublin.
How do you keep up-to-date regarding all the latest product, service and solution developments? And also best practices?
Pairc Ui Chaoimh has worked very closely with the stadium team at Croke Park and they have provided invaluable advice to the Stadium Committee.
What do you envision for Páirc Uí Chaoimh going forward? i.e. is it going to be a GAA-specific venue or are you going to be hosting other sporting and non-sporting events to create additional revenue streams?
We expect concerts and other events at the venue. The stadium is also a key part of Ireland’s bid for the Rugby World Cup in 2023.
Project & Design Team: Páirc Uí Chaoimh redevelopment
Malachy Walsh and Partners (MWP) is the Project Manager, Engineering Consultant and PSDP for the client, the Cork County GAA Board for the Stadium Development and Centre of Excellence at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Cork. The other members of the team are Scott Tallon Walker Architects, Cunnane Stratton Reynolds Planning Consultants and Michael Barrett Partnership, Quantity Surveyors.
The original 43,500-capacity stadium was constructed in 1973, with the €80m redevelopment having been facilitated by the sale of lands by Cork City Council to Cork County GAA Board within an area previously occupied by Munster Agricultural Society at Cork Showgrounds.
MWP’s role is to Project Manage the design of the 45,000-capacity stadium, which incorporates a 4-tier seated stand replacing the South Covered Stand, an all-weather floodlit playing pitch and the provision of facilities serving the County’s 14 Adult Teams, Club, Colleges and School Teams. The objective is to create a Centre of Excellence within which facilities compatible with the needs of players and spectators can be provided.
Páirc Uí Chaoimh will be part of the proposed Marina Park, which is also being delivered by Cork City Council. It is envisaged that both will be a key component of the Cork Docklands Development.
The new-look Páirc Uí Chaoimh is expected to be ready and open for this year’s Munster football final and is expected to host 25 match-days a year, as well as concerts, with each major event at the stadium to be worth an estimated €10m to the local economy.
You can watch a video showing the redeveloped stadium online at: https://youtu.be/egiEyhsgz9E and obviously we will make sure to bring you a video of the new venue once it’s officially open.