Musgrave Park, Cork
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Musgrave Park, Cork

Musgrave Park
Irish Independent Park
Musgrave Park (geograph 3680269).jpg
Musgrave Park stands prior to renovation, September 2013
LocationCork
Coordinates51°52?51?N 8°28?18?W / 51.8808°N 8.4718°W / 51.8808; -8.4718Coordinates: 51°52?51?N 8°28?18?W / 51.8808°N 8.4718°W / 51.8808; -8.4718
Public transitCork railway station
Pearse Road / O'Growney Crescent bus stop
OwnerIrish Rugby Football Union
Capacity8,008[1][2][3]
SurfaceArtificial turf [4]
OpenedOriginal: 1940
After redevelopment: 2015
Tenants
Dolphin RFC
Sundays Well RFC
Munster Rugby

Musgrave Park, referred to as Irish Independent Park for sponsorship reasons,[5][6] is a rugby football stadium in the city of Cork, Ireland. The ground is situated on Pearse Road in Ballyphehane. The ground was originally named after Jimmy Musgrave,[7] a past-president of the Irish Rugby Football Union, with naming rights later sold to Independent News & Media in 2014.[5] Owned by the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU), it is primarily used by Dolphin RFC, Sundays Well RFC, and Munster Rugby.

History and development

The ground was first purchased by the Munster Branch of the IRFU in the late 1930s, and in use by the early 1940s. Named for Jimmy Musgrave, a past-president of the IRFU, this early ground incorporated a small pavilion between two pitches. Terracing and seating were later added.[7] Dolphin and Sunday's Well rugby clubs were tenants from the outset, though the ground also sometimes hosted provincial and international games. The latter included a number of notable Munster Rugby performances against touring international teams, including Australia (in 1967), the All Blacks (in 1973), and Australia (in 1992) when the then world-champions were defeated at the ground.[8]

By the early 21st century, the ground consisted of four terraces, one stand, three tribunes, a jogging track, and two VIP stands on the west side. This configuration provided a seating capacity of 3,450, with terracing giving a total capacity of approximately 9,000.[9][7][10]

It was announced in March 2010 that a new all-seated west stand, would bring capacity to over 12,500,[11] however by February 2011 it was reported that this work would not go ahead - due to difficulty raising funding. Instead a 4,000 seat temporary stand was erected in the summer of 2011.[12] Later in 2011 the old seated west stand was demolished and replaced by a temporary structure, giving an overall capacity of 10,000 with 4,000 seats.[13]

In March 2013 it was announced that a new permanent 3,300 seated west stand would be built. It would incorporate changing, medical, media and function rooms. The east terrace would also have a roof added as part of this development.[14] To fund this development a 1.1 acre strip of land to the east of the site was made available for sale.[15][16] When complete, the development would provide a ground capacity of 10,000 in total, phasing in from a capacity of approximately 8,000 from the initial reopening in January 2015.[1][17] This EUR3.2m investment and work took place between June 2014 and January 2015, and included a new west stand seating 3,500, with the east terrace being covered from endline to endline.[18]

Following a naming-rights deal with Independent News & Media, upon the planned reopening in early 2015, the ground was to be referred to as Irish Independent Park.[19]

Use

Rugby

A line-out during a rugby match between Munster and Scarlets at Musgrave Park

Musgrave Park is home to Dolphin RFC and Sundays Well RFC. Each club has their own pitch on the east side of the main stadium.

The stadium hosts some of Munster Rugby's home fixtures. However Thomond Park, Limerick is the venue for all Heineken Cup games. The ground also hosts some smaller Pro14 games and pre-season friendlies - including occasionally by Ireland A (Wolfhounds) teams.[17]

The stadium also hosts locally important games - such as finals for amateur cup competitions and schools rugby.[20]

It also hosted the home matches of the Ireland under-20 team during the 2019 Six Nations Under 20s Championship.[21]

Other sports

In September 1991 League of Ireland club Cork City F.C. played a league game at Musgrave Park against Shamrock Rovers[22] and the following Wednesday Cork City drew 1-1 with FC Bayern Munich in a UEFA Cup game played at the ground.

Concerts

Other events also take place at the venue, with for example a concert by Il Divo in June 2014,[23] and a series of gigs by George Ezra, The Coronas, Liam Gallagher, Lauryn Hill and others during June 2019.[24]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Wolfhounds Defeat As Irish Independent Park Opens". Munster Rugby. 31 January 2015. Archived from the original on 12 February 2017. In keeping with safety regulations for the new development, the full capacity of the stadium (10000) will be introduced on a phase by phase basis with 8,200 the maximum capacity permitted for tonight's game
  2. ^ "Munster annihilate the Dragons to cement their place at the top of the Pro12 table". Irish Independent. 10 February 2017. You'd have been forgiven in Cork tonight for thinking that this was the only game of importance this weekend as a capacity crowd [...] of 8,008 responded to [..Munster..] urging them on
  3. ^ "New head coach Van Graan off to winning start as Munster crush Ospreys". Irish Independent. 3 December 2017. With a full house of 8,000 at Irish Independent Park
  4. ^ "New Modified 3G Pitch Laid At Irish Independent Park". Munster Rugby. August 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Musgrave Park naming rights sold to Independent News & Media". RTÉ News. 27 March 2014.
  6. ^ "Sean O'Brien returns but Wolfhounds fall to Saxons in Cork". Irish Independent. 30 January 2015.
  7. ^ a b c "Musgrave Park | Club | Munster Rugby | Official Website : Musgrave Park". Munsterrugby.ie. 10 November 1940. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 2014.
  8. ^ "A new era for Munster Rugby as redeveloped Irish Independent Park officially opened". Irish Independent. 28 February 2015.
  9. ^ "RaboDirect PRO12 - Teams - Munster". RaboDirectPRO12. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 2011.
  10. ^ "Irish Examiner - Musgrave Park expansion talks". Irish Examiner Archives. 13 November 2003. Retrieved 2011.
  11. ^ Byrne, Chris (12 March 2010). "Munster Rugby : News : New Development at Musgrave Park". Munsterrugby.ie. Archived from the original on 18 November 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  12. ^ Coughlan, Barry (18 February 2011). "Downturn halts Munster's Musgrave Park stand plans | Irish Examiner". Examiner.ie. Retrieved 2011.
  13. ^ "News Detail Page - Musgrave Park Plans for the New Stand". Mrsc.ie. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  14. ^ "AIB Customer Treasury Services - Breaking News". AIB Customer Treasury Services (Fxcentre.com). 22 March 2013. Retrieved 2014.
  15. ^ "Munster Rugby to sell site at Musgrave Park". Sunday Business Post. 21 March 2013.
  16. ^ Simon Lewis (21 November 2013). "Sale of land moves Musgrave Park development plan closer". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 2013.
  17. ^ a b "O'Brien provides highlight in tame Wolfhounds defeat". Irish Times. 31 January 2015. The Cork sporting public enthusiastically welcomed international rugby back to the city, filling the redeveloped Musgrave Park to its 8,200 sell-out
  18. ^ "Musgrave Park | Club | Munster Rugby | Official Website : Irish Independent Park". Munster Rugby. Retrieved 2017.
  19. ^ "Redevelopment of Irish Independent Park to be completed by mid-December". Irish Independent. 16 September 2014.
  20. ^ "Munster Schools Senior Cup Draw 2014-15". Munster Schools Rugby. Archived from the original on 14 February 2015. Final is due to be played on 17th March in Musgrave Park 2015
  21. ^ "Ireland Claim Under-20s Six Nations Crown With Dramatic Win Over France". sixnationsrugby.com. Six Nations Rugby Ltd. 6 March 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  22. ^ "Irish Times". Irish Times. 16 September 1991. Retrieved 2011.
  23. ^ "Midsummer Extravaganza in Cork with IL DIVO!". Irish Examiner. 27 January 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  24. ^ "George Ezra kicks off first open-air concert series at Musgrave Park tomorrow night". echolive.ie. The Echo. 19 June 2019. Retrieved 2019.

External links


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