Connacht GAA Air Dome expected to open in September
By Cian O'Connell
Connacht GAA's indoor playing facility is expected to be completed in September.
Work on the project continues at the Connacht GAA Centre of Excellence with provincial council secretary John Prenty delighted that the venue is nearly complete.
€2.1 million of Government funding has been secured through the Rural and Community Regeneration Fund for the dome which will be 26 metres high with the playing dimensions 150x100 metres, similar to Elverys MacHale Park in Castlebar.
The playing surface is currently being installed in Bekan. "The pitch should be almost finished by Friday," Prenty says. "That will just be laying it down, but they will have work to do with the rest of it.
"We are looking at September. The next thing that comes after the pitch is people will come to start working on putting up the dome.
"That will take about two weeks, then the work to finish off inside it will probably take another three or four weeks."
Crowds of in the region of 600 will be catered for at the venue. "The seats will be movable," Prenty explains.
"The lockdown knocked it back at least a month or six months. At the minute we are organising funding opportunities so people can buy advertising within the dome.
"We are putting a proposal together for companies, who may be interested in advertising. You can hang the advertising boards up inside rather than just putting them on the ground."
Last year Connacht GAA Games Development Manager Cathal Cregg explained that clubs and counties throughout Connacht will be able to use the dome. "The main focus of the dome will be to have a facility that all clubs and counties can play and participate in Coaching and Games," Cregg remarked.
"That will be based around our six key areas - Youth Games Opportunities, Child Games Opportunities, Academies, Schools Initiatives, Cul Camps, Learning and Development. All these initiatives will then be implemented in the clubs and counties around the province."