Tipperary Manager Michael Ryan has visited the new stadium to familiarise himself with the settings ahead of Saturday's All-Ireland senior hurling quarter final
The Tipperary senior hurling team have not taken the opportunity to visit Pairc Ui Chaoimh ahead of Saturday's All-Ireland senior hurling quarter final, despite the fact that the other three counties in action at the weekend have done so.
The Clare lads visited this week with a full squad, according to long serving Cork County Board Secretary Frank Murphy, while Waterford and Wexford have also gone along for a look at the magnificent new stadium. Tipperary manager Michael Ryan visited today, prior to a media tour, while former Boss Liam Sheedy has also viewed the facilities and will pass on plenty of knowledge to Tipperary people ahead of Saturday also. Tipperary have availed of a video to help the players to recognise the surroundings.
The magnificent stadium is a wonderful feat of engineering with 13,000 spectators to be accommodated in the new South Stand, 8,000 in the North Stand, and 12,000 in each of the terraces. Most of the huge concrete structure of the old stadium was crushed down and re-used in the new structure, and incredibly, two thirds of the concrete used in the stadium is below ground level and will never be seen - because the stadium is constructed on a former river bed, it was necessary to undertake huge pile driving and insert massive supports to stabilise the stands.
Chairman of the Cork County Board Ger Lane was in attendance today and promised to have the stadium in ship shape for Saturday. There is still a lot of work to be done over the course of the next few days, and Pairc Ui Chaoimh was a hive of activity as the media were shown around the two stands and the terraces. The pitch was being manicured and the finishing touches were being applied to many areas of the stadium.
Bob Ryan, Chairman of the re-development Steering Committee, hosted the tour, which included viewing of the ultra-advanced media facilities, the dressingrooms, warm-up areas, post-match interview rooms, and of course the premium level which is plush and in keeping with a modern conference centre.
The inclusion of an all-weather pitch at the rear of the South Stand is a brilliant addition to the stadium and will allow for games to be played at all times of the year. It will also allow teams to warm up if they so wish, and the stadium also contains a public walk-through area which will join different sides of the under-construction park - it is the first such walk-through in an Irish stadium thereby making it unique.
Pairc Ui Chaoimh is a magnificently impressive stadium which will serve the needs of the Association in Cork for many many years to come. The investment has been massive, but so too will the positive reaction of Tipperary people when they visit for the first major game there on Saturday.