Ulster Rugby Looks For Naming-Rights Sponsor For Renovated Ravenhill Stadium
Ireland's Ulster pro rugby team is "seeking to secure naming rights" for its proposed redeveloped of Ravenhill Stadium, according to Jim Stokes of the Irish INDEPENDENT. The club plans to utilize the €18.3M ($23M) injection from Northern Ireland's Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure for the final stages of construction. It is currently "in discussions with a number of interested parties" which would like to become the stadium's naming-rights partner. Ravenhill is owned by the Irish Rugby Football Union and was originally opened in '24. A new stand on the east side was opened three years ago. Work on the remaining three sides of the ground will begin Wednesday, and is expected to be completed by the summer of '14. The renovations will boost Ravenhill's capacity from 11,400 to 18,100. The Memorial End stand will house a ticket office, a shop, bar/catering facilities and a new educational facility, which will "promote the benefits of nutrition, a healthy lifestyle and the values of sport." The Aquinas stand will be the "new family area of the ground." It will provide covered seating for 2,100 people, with terracing for 1,300 fans. Beneath the stand will be "a state-of-the-art gym, meeting rooms and lecture halls" for the Ulster rugby squad and coaches. The second phase of the redevelopment will begin in July, and it is expected to be completed in August '14 (INDEPENDENT, 11/15).