Connacht Rugby: Plans for 30m euros stadium redevelopment revealed

Galway Sportsground, home of Connacht Rugby
The Sportsground first opened in 1927

Connacht have announced plans to redevelop The Sportsground stadium in Galway.

The development is expected to cost about 30m euros and will increase capacity to 12,000.

The site will also house the Irish province's new high performance training centre.

"A key pillar of the vision for Connacht Rugby is to deliver facilities that match our ambition," said Connacht CEO Willie Ruane.

Galway Sportsground has been home to the club since 1927 and currently has a capacity of just over 8,000.

Three potential sites were shortlisted after talks to build a new stadium began three years ago, but developing the existing Sportsground emerged as the most suitable option.

The project is expected to be financed through a combination of private investors and public funds - including the government's Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund, which was established as part of the Project Ireland 2040 review of capital spending projects.

New features will include an all-weather playing surface, which will also be made available to soccer and Gaelic games should the demand arise. The Sportsground will also maintain a schedule of greyhound racing

"The arrangement we have reached with the Irish Greyhound Board [Sportsground co-tenants] paves the way for the delivery of modern, fit-for-purpose facilities to sustain The Sportsground as the home of club and professional rugby in the province," said Ruane.

In 2013 Connacht launched their Grassroots to Green Shirt programme, aimed at increasing the number of local players coming through the provincial pathway and moving into international rugby.

They lifted their first major trophy in 2016 when they defeated Leinster in the GuinnessPro12 final.