Musgrave Park, Cork
|Irish Independent Park|
Musgrave Park stands, September 2013
|Public transit||Cork railway station
Pearse Road / O'Growney Crescent bus stop
|Owner||Irish Rugby Football Union|
|Capacity||8,200 (planned 10,000)|
After redevelopment: 2015
|Dolphin RFC, Sundays Well RFC, Munster Rugby|
Musgrave Park, also referred to as Irish Independent Park, 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, a past-president of the Irish Rugby Football Union, with naming rights later sold to Independent News & Media in 2014. 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. 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.
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.
It was announced in March 2010 that a new all-seated west stand, would bring capacity to over 12,500, 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. 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.
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. To fund this development a 1.1 acre strip of land to the east of the site was made available for sale. When complete, the development would provide a ground capacity of 10,000 in total, phasing in from a capacity of 8,200 from the initial reopening in January 2015.
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.
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 Pro12 games and pre-season friendlies - including occasionally by Ireland A (Wolfhounds) teams.
The stadium also hosts locally important games - such as finals for amateur cup competitions and schools rugby.
In September 1991 League of Ireland club Cork City F.C. played a league game at Musgrave Park against Shamrock Rovers and the following Wednesday Cork City drew 1–1 with FC Bayern Munich in a UEFA Cup game played at the ground.
- "Wolfhounds Defeat As Irish Independent Park Opens". Munster Rugby. 31 January 2015.
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
- "Musgrave Park naming rights sold to Independent News & Media". RTÉ News. 27 March 2014.
- "Sean O'Brien returns but Wolfhounds fall to Saxons in Cork". Irish Independent. 30 January 2015.
- "Musgrave Park | Club | Munster Rugby | Official Website : Musgrave Park". Munsterrugby.ie. 1940-11-10. Retrieved 2014-01-27.
- "A new era for Munster Rugby as redeveloped Irish Independent Park officially opened". Irish Independent. 28 February 2015.
- "RaboDirect PRO12 - Teams - Munster". RaboDirectPRO12. Retrieved 2011-11-13.
- "Irish Examiner – Musgrave Park expansion talks". Irish Examiner Archives. 13 November 2003. Retrieved 2011-10-13.
- Byrne, Chris (2010-03-12). "Munster Rugby : News : New Development at Musgrave Park". Munsterrugby.ie. Retrieved 2011-10-13.
- Coughlan, Barry (2011-02-18). "Downturn halts Munster’s Musgrave Park stand plans | Irish Examiner". Examiner.ie. Retrieved 2011-10-13.
- "News Detail Page - Musgrave Park Plans for the New Stand". Mrsc.ie. Retrieved 2011-10-13.
- "AIB Customer Treasury Services - Breaking News". AIB Customer Treasury Services (Fxcentre.com). 2013-03-22. Retrieved 2014-01-27.
- "Munster Rugby to sell site at Musgrave Park". Sunday Business Post. 21 March 2013.
- Simon Lewis (21 November 2013). "Sale of land moves Musgrave Park development plan closer". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
- "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
- "Redevelopment of Irish Independent Park to be completed by mid-December". Irish Independent. 16 September 2014.
- "Munster Schools Senior Cup Draw 2014-15". Munster Schools Rugby.
Final is due to be played on 17th March in Musgrave Park 2015
- "Irish Times". Irish Times. 1991-09-16. Retrieved 2011-10-13.
- "Midsummer Extravaganza in Cork with IL DIVO!". Irish Examiner. 27 January 2014. Retrieved 2014-01-27.
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