Sneak Peak - RDS Redevelopment Plans

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Re: Sneak Peak - RDS Redevelopment Plans

Postby tomthefan » August 10th, 2018, 1:18 pm

Fireworks wrote:The alternative is that we move to our own site but I would not be a fan of that unless someone knows of a suitable site in the same region.


By region, do mean Leinster or D4? :lol:
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Re: Sneak Peak - RDS Redevelopment Plans

Postby The Doc » August 10th, 2018, 1:47 pm

tomthefan wrote:
Fireworks wrote:The alternative is that we move to our own site but I would not be a fan of that unless someone knows of a suitable site in the same region.


By region, do mean Leinster or D4? :lol:


Not sure what you mean - same thing :D

Was the RDS ever part of the WC bid btw? I'm not sure that has anything to do with it. And as mentioned - the seating number increase is not the driver here.... it's more higher end facilities (corporate stuff etc of which there is currently a pretty weak offering at the moment). And the fact that that stand has got to be a disaster waiting to happen.

I'll guess that behind the scenes there is a phase 2 and 3 to look at the grandstand and then the two ends
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Re: Sneak Peak - RDS Redevelopment Plans

Postby Ruckedtobits » August 10th, 2018, 3:15 pm

Listened to a fascinating debate / discussion last Sunday on Five Live (BBC) about the sale of Wembley to the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Shakid Khan. Based on that discussion, no Sports Organisation should ever build a city-centre Stadium to own unless they have an immediate property play (Hotel, Officeblock or Apartments) which will recoup at least 60% of the construction cost.

For Leinster the objectives are clear:
a) Extended facilities for Corporate audience to generate greater % surplus per game;
b) Increased number & quality spectator seating;
c) Renegotiation of lease terms with RDS to capitalise on delivery of naming-rights sponsor. Lease terms to include % of gross revenue for future.

Ownership of a Sports Stadium is a mug's game financially right across the world. Like golf courses, only the third or later owners make money!
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Re: Sneak Peak - RDS Redevelopment Plans

Postby Lar » August 10th, 2018, 5:32 pm

I have no idea precisely how funding will work but from what I understand some will be paid for by the RDS; some by Leinster Rugby/loan from IRFU and the balance which is a pre-requisite to its construction is part funding from the Government. A significant amount of the cost to the RDS/Leinster will be offset by the naming rights (which Munster steadfastly refuse to consider). And Leinster will have to get a new rental deal if they are part funding the cost.

This will make the figures quoted by hugo dramatically different.

And as I understand it the renewed planning recently granted was to facilitate the construction commencing independently of other issues that were included in the original permission. In this regard the capacity of the new stand will not have increased but the overall capacity improvement will remain increased to 21,000, which as many have said is fine, given that we don't fill the RDS that often and when we threaten to we move to Lansdowne Road.

The development will just about drag the RDS into the late 20th century - let alone the 21st. And who knows what new facilities will do for attendance? It may encourage new people to attend. I know of several people who are unbelievably dissatisfied with the Anglesea Stand experience and have repeatedly said they are only renewing their STs because they want to be on the list when the new stand eventually opens. Better experience may well encourage new fans to come or indeed more fans to attend more games. All of which will be welcome.
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Re: Sneak Peak - RDS Redevelopment Plans

Postby artaneboy » August 10th, 2018, 8:35 pm

johng wrote:Only time I was ever in the South Stand was Sexto's Ireland Debut v Fiji in 09. That was so wet that you just had to relax into it as you were soaked through after 15 mins.


I’m a Grandstand STH: as the name indicates it’s fine. But I watched us scrape through against Bath in a grueller that same year (2009) from the North Stand. It was so wet, I had a good coat that never recovered. I brought a non sporting friend to that game too- he never wants to go back: weather and the play. So yes- covering the two end stands would be my priority.

Yeah the Anglesley sight lines are shite and it does need replacement- but only when we and the RDS can afford it. I get that corporate boxes would improve revenues- but it won’t help the atmosphere- already poor enough for many games.


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Re: Sneak Peak - RDS Redevelopment Plans

Postby hugonaut » August 10th, 2018, 9:18 pm

Lar wrote:I have no idea precisely how funding will work but from what I understand some will be paid for by the RDS; some by Leinster Rugby/loan from IRFU and the balance which is a pre-requisite to its construction is part funding from the Government. A significant amount of the cost to the RDS/Leinster will be offset by the naming rights (which Munster steadfastly refuse to consider). And Leinster will have to get a new rental deal if they are part funding the cost.

This will make the figures quoted by hugo dramatically different.

And as I understand it the renewed planning recently granted was to facilitate the construction commencing independently of other issues that were included in the original permission. In this regard the capacity of the new stand will not have increased but the overall capacity improvement will remain increased to 21,000, which as many have said is fine, given that we don't fill the RDS that often and when we threaten to we move to Lansdowne Road.

The development will just about drag the RDS into the late 20th century - let alone the 21st. And who knows what new facilities will do for attendance? It may encourage new people to attend. I know of several people who are unbelievably dissatisfied with the Anglesea Stand experience and have repeatedly said they are only renewing their STs because they want to be on the list when the new stand eventually opens. Better experience may well encourage new fans to come or indeed more fans to attend more games. All of which will be welcome.


I agree with a lot of that Lar. I have to say that those were construction estimates for the project in my initial post – not costs to Leinster Rugby.

I agree with what the Doc said earlier, that the development is not really about increasing capacity – it's a] about providing for increased corporate occupation, which is where the money is; and b] about providing a stand that is fit for purpose. The current stand has a lot of issues with access, travel distances, no. of seats per row, material construction, sightlines etc.

But my points were that it's a complicated project and an expensive project. The RDS [who own the ground] can't afford to do it. Leinster [who are driving the project] can't afford to do it. Even together, they can't afford to do it. The two of them together, with significant corporate backing and agreed sponsorship deals can't afford to do it. The IRFU were badly burnt in the last provincial stadium they bankrolled, but at least they had the fallback that if their loans weren't repaid, they'd own the stadium. That situation is not going to occur in the RDS. That's not to say that they won't contribute funds, but there's little chance they are going to take on the same degree of financial responsibility that they assumed for Thomond.

It's not a national stadium, so the government will likely offer money via grants rather than make a very significant investment – they would have if it was used in a major international tournament like RWC23, as it would have been in their interests to portray Ireland as positively as possible through the presentation of every stadium.

There are loads of moving parts here, and Leinster fans should understand that it's not down to Mick Dawson pushing a button and lads rolling in with JCBs in the morning.
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Re: Sneak Peak - RDS Redevelopment Plans

Postby COYBIB » August 11th, 2018, 12:31 am

I don't think capacity is the issue either, anything over 20,000 is too big in my opinion. Any match that exceeds that demand could / should be moved to Lansdowne. There are a few issues:

1/ Quality. "If you build it, they will come", this argument is definitely true, modernization of facilities and match day experience is a major factor in attracting and retaining "customers" (remember, we're the 1% of fan base who would be more in the hardcore space, the vast majority of fans of every team are fairly casual, after work match and pints or weekend event). Just like any other recreational spend, a revamp of the premises will bring in business, modernize the restaurant will increase custom, especially when you have a world class chef (/product). And then the corporate spend. Modern corporate facilities would pay for the stand alone over 10 years.

2/ Leinster couldn't be a more accommodating tennant. We're essentially renting the house and funding the extension. The reason for the delay is as much the RDS' reluctance to take on the financial burden, all the funding supposedly secured - government, sports council, potentially world cup bid, naming rights, corporate sponsorship - not a single cent of that is being raised for a summer weekend, every cent of that is attracted and effectively sourced by Leinster, we're financing half the project indirectly with zero ownership.

3/ Long term sustainability. The trajectory of the professional game is all about finances. What's handy for now could be potentially a disaster later. Look at Ulster and Munster, they pocket every cent of ticket sales, concessions etc. - for Thomond, it might be a white elephant now, but the IRFU are picking up the cheque, the provincial pool of money is picking up the cheque, Ulster have a cash cow and we turn over a nice profit, Munster are little burdened by it, it's written off and half their squad are signings, so clearly it doesn't effect their player spend, but they'll be laughing later when the sport grows to potentially fill it every other week and they're taking 100% of the proceeds, you can be sure it's not a two way street, that money wont flow back Leinsters way.

4/ Missing the boat. Imagine selling off the back pitch at the Donnybrook in 2006 - what would you have got for it, 20, 30 million? You'd get a decent stadium off of that. Prime D4 real estate zoned for commercial office space or residential apartments - who says we'd need to take on any debt what so ever? It'll be too late when all the Leinster attracted money is tied to the RDS and we have zero match day income, no stadium of our own, serious limitations on our income compared to most other European teams. The Donnybrrok plan should be revisited. And knocking down and rebuilding the new main stand should be the first swallow your pride moment in the conversation. It was poorly planned and executed the first time, but that doesn't mean it will be on a second attempt, it would just be a major climb down and somewhat humiliating to demonstrate the colossal waste of money the first attempt was. Issues with the tennis club could be very different now too. But the further investment in artificial pitches, recent refurbishment of club house... it's a missed opportunity in my opinion. Also looking at the foot print of the grounds, it's definitely possible to get an excellent, modern 20,000 stadium in there.

I could go on, but alas, all a pipedream at this stage.
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Re: Sneak Peak - RDS Redevelopment Plans

Postby Fireworks » August 13th, 2018, 11:38 am

wixfjord wrote:
Fireworks wrote:I do think this has been a bit of a mess. I think the major factors in this are the failed 2023 bid which would have brought funding for the development and the fact that it is the RDS and not Leinster doing the development. It is not easy to raise the finance required and the WC bid has dropped them into the building inflation trap as mentioned above.

On another front I will risk the anger of others by repeating what has probably been said a number of times..... The development as planned is not good enough. Replacing one stand for that amount of money with an increase of less than 1,000 seats is not what we need. The capacity requirements can be argued about but I feel that they needed to look for a full stadium development not just a single stand. The show jumpers and other users mean there cannot be permanent stands behind each goal line but there has to be a solution that provides a retractable seating solution and/or a roof. Even if the north and south stands remained as they were it would be preferable to see the other two stands developed. I would hope to see the capacity rise by a few thousand to allow for future support growth.

The alternative is that we move to our own site but I would not be a fan of that unless someone knows of a suitable site in the same region.


I personally don't get the capacity argument. The simple maths of an extra x seats for y budget is way too simplistic.
We don't need bigger capacity in the RDS. As it is, the stadium is barely full for 5 games a year and we have the Aviva down the road.

We need a better fan experience and better corporate boxes which this will provide.

Now as a north stand dweller redesigning those with a roof would be great alright.


My only thoughts on capacity is, very un-Irish, planning for the future. Build it to accommodate the crowd you have now but with the ability to expand to take the crowd you may attract in the future. I totally agree on providing a better experience which is very relevant to the roof debate.
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Re: Sneak Peak - RDS Redevelopment Plans

Postby ormond lad » August 13th, 2018, 11:55 am

COYBIB wrote:I don't think capacity is the issue either, anything over 20,000 is too big in my opinion. Any match that exceeds that demand could / should be moved to Lansdowne. There are a few issues:

1/ Quality. "If you build it, they will come", this argument is definitely true, modernization of facilities and match day experience is a major factor in attracting and retaining "customers" (remember, we're the 1% of fan base who would be more in the hardcore space, the vast majority of fans of every team are fairly casual, after work match and pints or weekend event). Just like any other recreational spend, a revamp of the premises will bring in business, modernize the restaurant will increase custom, especially when you have a world class chef (/product). And then the corporate spend. Modern corporate facilities would pay for the stand alone over 10 years.

2/ Leinster couldn't be a more accommodating tennant. We're essentially renting the house and funding the extension. The reason for the delay is as much the RDS' reluctance to take on the financial burden, all the funding supposedly secured - government, sports council, potentially world cup bid, naming rights, corporate sponsorship - not a single cent of that is being raised for a summer weekend, every cent of that is attracted and effectively sourced by Leinster, we're financing half the project indirectly with zero ownership.

3/ Long term sustainability. The trajectory of the professional game is all about finances. What's handy for now could be potentially a disaster later. Look at Ulster and Munster, they pocket every cent of ticket sales, concessions etc. - for Thomond, it might be a white elephant now, but the IRFU are picking up the cheque, the provincial pool of money is picking up the cheque, Ulster have a cash cow and we turn over a nice profit, Munster are little burdened by it, it's written off and half their squad are signings, so clearly it doesn't effect their player spend, but they'll be laughing later when the sport grows to potentially fill it every other week and they're taking 100% of the proceeds, you can be sure it's not a two way street, that money wont flow back Leinsters way.

4/ Missing the boat. Imagine selling off the back pitch at the Donnybrook in 2006 - what would you have got for it, 20, 30 million? You'd get a decent stadium off of that. Prime D4 real estate zoned for commercial office space or residential apartments - who says we'd need to take on any debt what so ever? It'll be too late when all the Leinster attracted money is tied to the RDS and we have zero match day income, no stadium of our own, serious limitations on our income compared to most other European teams. The Donnybrrok plan should be revisited. And knocking down and rebuilding the new main stand should be the first swallow your pride moment in the conversation. It was poorly planned and executed the first time, but that doesn't mean it will be on a second attempt, it would just be a major climb down and somewhat humiliating to demonstrate the colossal waste of money the first attempt was. Issues with the tennis club could be very different now too. But the further investment in artificial pitches, recent refurbishment of club house... it's a missed opportunity in my opinion. Also looking at the foot print of the grounds, it's definitely possible to get an excellent, modern 20,000 stadium in there.

I could go on, but alas, all a pipedream at this stage.
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Re: Sneak Peak - RDS Redevelopment Plans

Postby Dave Cahill » August 13th, 2018, 1:17 pm

Fireworks wrote:
My only thoughts on capacity is, very un-Irish, planning for the future. Build it to accommodate the crowd you have now but with the ability to expand to take the crowd you may attract in the future.


Is that not what we've done though? The crowd we have now isn't 18.5k, or 22k or whatever, its <15k. The stadium as it stands can take 20k - thats plenty of expandability in situ and we have a stadium across the road for those occasions where we need more than that.

We don't need to build extra capacity into the stadium, we need to build in extra revenue generating facilities, like corporate or concessions.
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Re: Sneak Peak - RDS Redevelopment Plans

Postby rooster » August 14th, 2018, 11:20 am

Dave Cahill wrote:
Fireworks wrote:
My only thoughts on capacity is, very un-Irish, planning for the future. Build it to accommodate the crowd you have now but with the ability to expand to take the crowd you may attract in the future.


Is that not what we've done though? The crowd we have now isn't 18.5k, or 22k or whatever, its <15k. The stadium as it stands can take 20k - thats plenty of expandability in situ and we have a stadium across the road for those occasions where we need more than that.

We don't need to build extra capacity into the stadium, we need to build in extra revenue generating facilities, like corporate or concessions.
That is spot on Dave, 1 corporate box sold is a lot of standard seats worth of revenue.
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