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Croke Park

Croke Park is the principal stadium and headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association, Ireland's major sporting organisation. Croke Park is located in north Dublin. After a major rebuilding programme that cost hundreds of millions of euro in the 1990s and early 2000s, Croke Park is generally seen as one of the world's finest sports stadia.

The G.A.A. purchased the grounds at Jones's Road, Dublin 3, (in preference to Elm Park) on December 18, 1913 from former G.A.A Secretary and President Frank Dineen, who was holding it for them without profit, for 3,250. It was named Croke Memorial Park after their patron Dr Croke, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Cashel.

In the 1920s the G.A.A. set out to create a high capacity stadium at Croke Park. The park was resodded and the memorial Hogan Stand was opened. In January 1936 the first double-deck Cusack Stand was begun with 5,000 seats, and concrete terracing was constructed on Hill 16. In 1952 the Nally Stand was built in memorial of P. W. Nally, who was involved in the initial discussions on the foundation of the G.A.A. Seven years later, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the G.A.A., the first cantilevered 'New Hogan Stand' was opened.

The stadium, which previously consisted of three stands (the Hogan Stand, the Cusack Stand and the small Nally Stand) and two standing areas, the Canal End (so-called because the Royal Canal runs along that end just outside the grounds) and Hill 16, so named because it was built of rubble from the destruction of Dublin during the Easter Rising in 1916, underwent complete demolition and redevelopment in the 1990s and 2000s. Though the Cusack and Hogan names continue in reality they do not exist as separate entities, a new single stand running in a horse-show pattern around three sides of the ground. The redevelopment of the last area, Hill 16, begun in mid 2003.

See also