Written Answers. - National Stadium.

John Gormley

Ceist:

857 Mr. Gormley asked the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation his views on the feasibility of a national stadium in view of reports of the proposed FAI-backed arena in west Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1811/99]

John Gormley

Ceist:

858 Mr. Gormley asked the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation the level of financial assistance he envisages from his Department for the construction of the FAI-backed arena in west Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1812/99]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 857 and 858 together.

On 13 October last year, the Government agreed to the commissioning of a feasibility study for the development of a national stadium, and to the establishment of a stadium steering committee to conduct the feasibility study and to make recommendations based on the findings of the study.

The steering committee is chaired by Mr. Derek Keogh and includes representatives from major sporting organisations, including the FAI, the GAA and the IRFU, as well as representatives from the private sector and a number of Departments. Through this process, the major sporting organisations, including the FAI, will be in a position to bring their own particular perspectives to bear.
The committee will be overseeing the preparation of a feasibility study which will address the issues necessary for the Government to make an early decision on the matter. The study will examine a range of issues relevant to the feasibility of developing and operating a stadium, the economic, social and other benefits that can be expected to be derived, and will analyse potential demand for use of the facilities from various sporting, entertainment and other commercial categories. Such analysis will clearly need to take cognisance of all existing and proposed stadia developments, such as the recently announced FAI plans for a £65 million stadium in west Dublin.
A process to select experts to carry out the study is now under way and it is expected that the finalised study and the steering committee's recommendations on it will be available for consideration by the Government by September 1999.
Finally, the FAI, in presenting their proposals, has indicated that it intends putting in place arrangements to ensure that its proposed stadium will be self-financing and not reliant on any external grant aid.