Dublin’s RDS Arena to receive €20m expansion

by Tom Walker | 15 Jul 2014

Leinster Rugby and The Royal Dublin Society (RDS) will undertake a €20m redevelopment of the RDS Arena in Dublin, increasing the venue’s capacity from 18,500 to 25,000.

Following the work the stadium – which hosts all Leinster’s Pro12 and Heineken Cup home games – is expected to be included in Ireland’s bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup. The venue is also home to the RDS’ annual Dublin Horse Show.

As well as expanding capacity, the work is set to “greatly enhance” stadium facilities, although no detailed plans have been announced.

RDS and Leinster have launched an international architectural design competition for the project – the first time a stadium redevelopment in Ireland has been put up for such a competition.

Michael Duffy, CEO of RDS, said: “We are collaborating with Leinster Rugby on a new stadium development from which both parties will benefit.

"The RDS is already on a world stage as an equestrian and now rugby venue and our ambition is for a world leading stadium with facilities on a par with the best anywhere. It is for this reason that we have decided to launch this open competition and to seek design ideas from the best in the world."

With a six month time frame in place for the selection of the concept architect, work is not expected to start until April 2016 at the earliest.

Leinster Rugby and The Royal Dublin Society (RDS) will undertake a €20m redevelopment of the RDS Arena in Dublin, increasing the venue’s capacity from 18,500 to 25,000. Following the work the stadium – which hosts all Leinster’s Pro12 and Heineken Cup home games – is expected to be included in Ireland’s bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup. The venue is also home to the RDS’ annual Dublin Horse
SAR,ARC,CLD
Michael Duffy, CEO of the RDS (left) with Michael Dawson, CEO of Leinster Rugby at the announcement of plans to redevelop the RDS Arena / Matt Browne/Sportsfile
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