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Gilroy Returns To Ravenhill As Redevelopment Work Begins

Gilroy Returns To Ravenhill As Redevelopment Work Begins

Craig Gilroy was back on familiar territory at Ravenhill today as the province’s latest Ireland international joined experienced hooker Rory Best to mark the first day of redevelopment work at the Belfast ground.

Craig Gilroy, fresh from his try-scoring debut for Ireland against Argentina, linked up with Rory Best to take part in a photocall with a digger on the Ravenhill pitch.

Construction work began at the Belfast stadium today and will be completed by the summer of 2014. Three new stands will be built at in a phased approach that will see capacity rise from 11,400 to 18,000.

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The first phase of the redevelopment will run until June 2013 and will see new stands built at both the Memorial and Aquinas ends of the ground.

The new Memorial End stand will provide covered seating for approximately 2,400 people with terracing for a further 1,350 fans.

It will house a ticket office, a shop, a bar/catering facilities and a new educational facility. The educational facility will promote the benefits of nutrition, a healthy lifestyle and the values of sport.

The new Aquinas stand will be the new family area of the ground. It will provide covered seating for 2,100 people with terracing for a further 1,300 fans.

It will house new team changing facilities, treatment rooms, an indoor training surface as well as matchday media facilities. It will also become the Ulster senior squads new training base with a state-of-the-art gym, meeting rooms and facilities.

Once the Memorial and Aquinas ends of the ground are complete, the second phase of construction will begin.

This will run from July 2013 until August 2014 and will see the demolition of the existing main stand and the construction of a replacement grandstand built to accommodate 3,450 seated spectators with the new promenade providing standing for approximately 3,400 fans.

This stand will also have bar and restaurant facilities. The existing promenade will also be upgraded.

With the increased number of spectators that the new-look ground will be able to hold, Ravenhill will be capable of hosting a RaboDirect PRO12 final or a Heineken Cup quarter-final.

Related Links –

Ulster Secure Funding For Ground Redevelopment

Ravenhill Redevelopment: Fly Through Video