THOMOND Park and the Gaelic Grounds are set to square up over the right to stage concerts in Limerick next year, with management of both stadiums seeking high-profile acts from national concert promoters.
Limerick GAA officials confirmed that they are to attempt to remove a stipulation on planning documentation for the Gaelic Grounds which restricts the use of the stadium purely to sporting events, specifically with a view to staging 60,000 capacity concerts in the venue, possibly as early as August next year.
Limerick GAA secretary Mike O’Riordan said that consultants working for Limerick GAA “have met with Limerick City Council and an application will go in before Christmas”.
He did accept that there was likely to be local objections to the change in planning, but he said that “if the planning stipulation is taken out in early 2012, there might be a possibility of hosting something in August of next year”.
Mr O’Riordan said that Limerick GAA had met with an experienced concert promoter with links to both MCD and Aiken Promotions - the only national promoters capable of staging such an event in either stadium - and said that “the feedback that we have got is that they are willing to discuss the situation further”.
Mr O’Riordan said he saw no conflict with the nearby rugby ground, stating: “Thomond Park is limited to a capacity of around 27,000 - we could go to 50,000 or 60,000 so it would be a different act, ultimately, that would be playing in the Gaelic Grounds”.
Promoter Peter Aiken, who brought Elton John, Bob Dylan, Pink and JLS to Thomond in recent years, confirmed to the Limerick Leader that it was his “intention to continue to promote concerts at Thomond Park”.