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Irish national stadium plans unveiled

Details of a £249 million project to redevelop the Irish national stadium at Lansdowne Road in Dublin were unveiled today.
The 50,000-seat stadium will be made up of continuous curved stands enclosing all four sides of the ground. The south, east and west stands will have four tiers, with the bottom and top levels holding most spectators. The north stand will sweep down to one low level of seating, minimising the impact on residents close to that end of the ground.

Some 10,000 seats will be set aside on the second tier for premium ticket holders while the third tier will cater for around 1,300 corporate visitors with hospitality facilities.

Designer HOK Sport Architecture plans to use translucent materials all around the ground to reduce the impact it has on the area by reflecting light back off the building.

An application for planning permission will be made in December and it could take a year to finalise. It is hoped work on the stadium will begin in early 2007 and that it could be ready to host major football and rugby matches in 2009. The existing stadium will host matches during 2006.

The architects added that space for the development has been created by realigning the pitch and creating new access over railway lines allowing spectators entry at premium seat level.

The ground will also provide better disabled access, press facilities and improved player facilities for both home and away teams.

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