Croke Park is set to take over the running of Páirc Uí Chaoimh as the costs of the redevelopment of the stadium have soared to almost €100 million, according to a report in the Irish Examiner.
The cost of the refurbishment was originally thought to be in the region of €86 million but that has dramatically risen, Croke Park stadium boss Peter McKenna revealed to the paper, while he also announced that the stadium’s playing surface will have to be replaced.
To cover the debt, Croke Park are set to take over the running of the stadium for up to 15 years.
“It became clear in the middle of the year that the amount spent on the stadium way exceeded what people thought,” Mr McKenna told the paper.
“We’re probably close to €110 million as a final cost, and what was the ability to pay that?
“In order to stem the debt or put a shape to it, we needed an experienced management team involved. I think if it wasn’t an aligned set-up you’d be talking about a receivership or something like that. The ability to pay that amount of money back wasn’t there, but that’s not how we operate as an organisation.”
However, Mr McKenna insisted that Cork GAA will not have to consult with Croke Park officials on matters concerning team spending.
“Not at all,” he said. “That’s a matter for the county board — but that’s where this problem was heading. There was massive debt and the stadium debt needed to be untangled from the county board accounts.
“The most important things are the teams, not the stadium. Looking at the stadium as a separate unit, which is now solvent, with the executive well represented on the board, is by far the best way to do it.”
The 45,000-seater redeveloped stadium was officially opened in 2017.