After much speculation, Connacht Rugby have released an artist’s impression of how their home ground, the Sportsground, will look for the 2011/12 season.
Work started on the Clan Terrace two weeks ago and is set to be completed for Connacht’s first RaboDirect PRO12 match in early September.
The covering will provide much needed shelter to the Connacht faithful and enhance the matchday experience for all supporters.
There is other work being undertaken behind this stand which will see the construction of a new bar, catering and restroom facilities. Connacht Rugby will release drawings of them in the near future.
The second major development is will be the erection of a covered, seated stand on the west side of the ground.
This stand will cater for over 300 supporters in a structure that will be similar to that which was in place for Connacht’s Amlin Challenge Cup semi-final against Toulon in 2010.
This stand, along with the other developments, are anticipated to greatly improve overall facilities within the Sportsground and help make the home of Connacht Rugby a fun, safe and enjoyable venue for years to come.
Connacht Rugby CEO Gerry Kelly said: “These drawings will help people visualise what the ground will look like in September when this stage of the redevelopment is complete.
“Eric (Elwood) and his team are putting in a huge amount of work on the pitch in their pre-season training and the management and Professional Game Board (PGB) are matching that effort off the pitch to provide a modern, safe and enjoyable venue for our supporters.
“Once the construction work has been completed we will have a venue and facilities that will rival that of many of our counterparts within the RaboDirect PRO12 and Heineken Cup competitions.
“The Sportsground has always been our home and this development work will make the matchday experience for our supporters considerably better.”
The province’s head coach Eric Elwood was equally as happy with the progress being made, stating: “It’s a very exciting time for Connacht Rugby. Everyone’s working together to drive Connacht forward as we head into the new season.
“The Professional Game Board, the management, the staff and all the players, everyone is doing their bit to ensure that Connacht are as successful as possible.
“Providing a covered terrace for our supporters is just one of the ways we are trying to improve standards across the stadium.
“Fans give you that extra push on the field so looking after them and making the venue as comfortable as possible is important.
“We’ve already seen a big increase in Season Ticket sales and hopefully with all the work going on here on and off the pitch, we will see a huge turnout at the Sportsground for the 2011/12 season.”