The return of terraces and a safe stand will be a key part of the proposed redevelopment of Dalymount Park in a plan that could push the stadium’s capacity up to 10,000, with an interim measure to increase capacity for next year to 4,500.
officials from Dublin City Council are evaluating two options for Dalymount, a site DCC bought from a then cash-strapped Bohs in 2015. A revised version of the ‘new’ Dalymount as originally planned (although the Shelbourne land-sharing aspect of that plan is off the table) , is a possibility. But a so-called Plan B, which sees a major refurbishment of the existing ground, retaining the ground with a new surface, retaining the Jodi Stand, a new stand on the Connaught Street side and a 2,000 capacity standing section behind the goal at the tram end is the most likely route, with 2026 as the target date for completion.
Bohs updated their club members at their AGM on Wednesday evening, while the DCC issued a statement outlining the options. Rising costs, from the original estimate of €32 million. to a predicted €52m. and Shelbourne’s exit from the ground-share idea is key.
In the short term, work will begin next Monday on the demolition of the Connaught Street side seating, which has been unused for over a decade due to safety concerns, and a new covered standing section with a capacity of 450, for away supporters, should be ready for the next election period.
Bohs currently have a waiting list for season tickets due to high demand for the Dalymount and its current capacity of just 3,740, but have a belief that a surge in interest could take them to regular crowds of over 6,000. “We won’t know until we build it, we would have sold out 6,000 regularly and if it ends up doing 8,000 or 9,000 it will allow us to sell out big games with a bit of profit to bring new people in,” says the club’s operations manager Daniel Lambert. But he is adamant that football has moved on from the days when all-seater stadiums were seen as necessary and they will have a secure place as an important part of the new ground.
“The terrace is the big thing, go to any European ground and they’ve got a big terrace, that’s what people want, go to any LOI game and a lot of fans are standing, in a place designed for, that people can sit, it makes no sense, UEFA is bringing it back in, if we have a 2,000-capacity terrace behind the goal, it could be the best atmosphere in the league,” says Lambert.
The DCC will examine the costs before deciding on the route to take by November, but the club remains confident that access to funding in the Large Scale Sports Infrastructure Fund will be open to them. “We’ve had lots of meetings with ministers and members of the cabinet, TDs and councilors from the local area, everyone wants it to happen,” Lambert added.