RDS to Transform By 2021


The RDS is to undergo redevelopment of its sport infrastructure with a view to having it completed by September or October 2020, the province’s chief executive has confirmed. Leinster Rugby will seek €15 million from the Government’s new fund for major sports infrastructure projects.

Mr Dawson said a revamped RDS – which would have an additional 3,000 seats in the Anglesea Stand and enhanced corporate facilities – was needed for Leinster to be able to compete with better resourced English and French clubs.

“It would reinvigorate us and give us a new revenue stream . . . because of corporate facilities, premium seats, boxes probably,” he said. “We’ve done lots of modelling on it . . . you’d hope it would be a significant sum of money extra to what we have at the moment.”

Leinster began playing in the RDS in 2007 and has a 20-year lease at the Ballsbridge venue. The redevelopment would cost €30 million, with funding from the RDS and a naming rights deal with Laya Healthcare bridging the gap.

Planning permission to upgrade the RDS has already been secured and Mr Dawson said that if funding was secured from the Government, a six-month tendering process and 12 months of construction would follow. He hopes the new stadium would be available for the 2020/21 season.

RDS, Leinster RugbySarah Malone