Leinster have announced plans to redevelop the stadium at the RDS in Dublin, raising the capacity from 18,500 to 25,000.
Leinster have announced plans to redevelop the stadium at the Royal Dublin Society (RDS) in Dublin, raising the capacity from 18,500 to 25,000.
The three-time European and reigning Pro12 champions will launch of an international architectural design competition for a multi-purpose arena with work due to start in 2016.
Leinster will continue to play their home games in the RDS Arena during the redevelopment and the RDS Dublin Horse Show will also continue as normal.
The Architectural Design competition will be administered by the Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland (RIAI) on a two stage basis and will be adjudicated by a five person jury.
“The RDS has been home to Leinster Rugby since 2007 and we are delighted to move on to the next stage of our relationship with them, which is to collaborate on a new stadium development from which both parties will benefit,” said Michael Duffy, Chief Executive of the RDS
“The RDS is already on a world stage as an equestrian and now rugby venue and our ambition is for a world leading stadium with facilities on a par with the best anywhere. It is for this reason that we have decided to launch this open competition and to seek design ideas from the best in the world.”
Leinster Chief Executive, Mick Dawson welcomed the announcement and the opportunities it presents.
“This really is fantastic news for all Leinster Rugby supporters, for the players, management and for staff. We have had some wonderful moments in the RDS over the years but it's now time to look to the future,” he said.
“The move from Donnybrook to the RDS in 2007/2008 has proved to be extremely successful and it has allowed us to grow as a team. In that time we have won numerous domestic and European trophies while offering an excellent match day experience.
“However we want to move forward and a 25,000 capacity, purpose built arena will allow us to do that and provide us with greater commercial opportunities both within the stadium and with regard to naming rights”.
Robin Mandal, the RIAI President added: “This is a unique process for the design of stadia in Ireland. Never before has an international competition of this nature been held and we are certainly very excited by what we will see both domestically and from abroad.”