Work set to begin on new facility
The new Sligo Rovers development project will begin on 17 February, the club can announce.
The facility will be based in The Showgrounds, costing almost €500,000, and will include:
- A state of the art all-weather pitch
- A new full-size grass pitch, meeting full FAI standards.
- Two 5-a-side grass pitches/training area (behind the VW Bank stand).
The new all-weather facility, with a new state of the art carpet with a life of five to seven years, will be known as The Sligo Rovers Sean Fallon Centre in honour of the renowned former Sligo Rovers, Celtic and Irish international player who passed away last year.
The project will include enhanced dug-out facilities and a small terrace area for spectators. The contractors are Pride Sports and Leisure Ltd.
Sligo Rovers chairman Tony Quinn said: “Like the new stand and other recent infrastructure developments at the Showgrounds, the new all-weather and grass pitches flow from the on-the-field success of the club in recent years.
“We hope the all-weather facility will afford our supporters and the wider community many hours of sporting enjoyment.”
Two sponsors, the Irish League of Credit Unions and Stiefel, a GSK company, are generous backers of the all-weather pitch development.
Local branches of the Credit Union in Sligo and Ballymote and the Credit Union’s national organisation are supporting the venture.
As well as being a major employer in the North West region, Stiefel has a long traditional of community involvement.
Parent company GlaxoSmithKline is one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies.
The club sees the sponsors as ideal partners for what will be a popular, much-used facility in the heart of Sligo.
The grass based facilities are being fitted by Emerald Pitch Developments from Offaly.
The full-size grass pitch will be located behind the stands on the Jinks’ Avenue end of the Showgrounds.
Following the completion of the installation work, several months will be required for grass growth before a quality surface meeting FAI standards will be in place.
The two 5-a-side grass pitches/training areas behind the Volkswagen Bank Stand will provide the club with significant new facilities within The Showgrounds complex.
Technical supervision of the project is being provided by Michael Conmy of Plan Design Associates, who have a long history of involvement with Sligo Rovers.
Considerable expertise and advice has been received throughout the project from George Mullan who has an international reputation for excellence in the area of natural and synthetic pitch installation and management.
The Sligo Rovers Development Project received €295,000 grant aid from the Sports Capital Development Fund of the Department of Tourism and Sport.
It is largest award made to a League of Ireland club and recognition of the importance of the role played by a community-owned organisation in the life of the region.
The overall project is costing in the region of €460,000 and the balance of the expenditure is being funded by a combination of sponsorship and from club resources.
Minister of State for the Department of Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring, will visit Sligo on Thursday and will mark the announcement of the start of work on the project with sponsors, guests and officials from Sligo Rovers at City Hall.
The club wishes to acknowledge Tony Mc Loughlin, a founding member of the club's development committee for his assistance along with fellow Oireachtas members, TD’s Minister John Perry, and Michael Colreavy, and Senators Imelda Henry, Susan O’ Keeffe, Marc McSharry, Paschal Mooney and Michael Comiskey.
The hope is to have the synthetic pitch operational by May with the grass components of the project ready by late autumn.