Progress on the new stand

mchale-park-new-stand___Anyone who’s planning to go along to McHale Park on Sunday will be able to see for themselves how the redevelopment work is progressing but, if you’re not going to be there or if you just can’t wait, the Castlebar News website have put up a few more pictures of how the new stand is currently looking.  It appears to be a big mother of a thing alright and it’ll certainly make for more comfortable viewing of the action on the field. I bet the new bogs will be a tad more salubrious as well compared to the current outdoor facilities beside the entrance at the Bacon Factory End.

The one odd thing about the new stand is that it doesn’t appear to be cantilevered: by my reckoning there are at least eight poles to the front holding the thing up.  I’m no engineer and maybe this is just because it’s not fully completed yet but those poles do have the look of fixtures that are going to be around for the long haul.  If this is the case then it’s a shame because, having gone to the trouble of doing such a major redevelopment, you’d think they’d have had the wit to know that these kind of poles went out of fashion sometime back in the 1950s.  Maybe it’s a cost issue, in which case it would be understandable why they’re doing it this way but, whatever the reason is, it does detract somewhat from what otherwise looks to be a very fine piece of work.

5 thoughts on “Progress on the new stand

  1. No you are right – these poles are permanent fixtures. In the world of engineering, constructing a non cantilevered stand these days and rather having structural poles is criminal. Yes it would cost more money and that obviously is the reason, but to spend 16m and then expect fans to pay hefty to occupy the new stand when in effect you will not really have much better view than you did in the old stand (which of course also had poles). Now I am happy that the Co Board are being progressive and fully welcome the upgrade and think it looks well as a structure, but for me I will be re-locating from the score-board section across to the press-box side where I can enjoy an un-impeded view (and of course will have the lovely view of the new stand). I really think there has been a major lost opportunity here to really do something different with McHale park with the money they are spending. Part of the plan is to extend the Albany end by 15 rows – how could this be justified?? Could this money have not been put towards a cantilevered stand or a well designed suspended roof structure a la thomond. Or a better suggestion for me would be to install some sort of modified bucket seats around the rest of the ground and give us a truly ‘all-seated’ stadium which would be unique in the GAA. I just hope we don’t end up massively in debt and still have to spend money 10years time to upgrade other parts of the ground. Just think a better all-round upgrade could have been achieved with a little more imagination…..

  2. Very disappointing about the poles. Only a little imagination was needed to avoid that – in fact it looks a carbon copy of the O’Connor Park Stand in many ways – http://www.kssl.ie/images/O%27Connor%20Park%20Tullamore/tullamore02.jpg – which I haven’t been in.

    All in all though a welcome change to the McHale Road landscape.

    It is worrying from a financial point of view. I cannot see many seats being bought on long-term deals. At best you will 3 championship matches in every year and I don’t think there is any fear of being locked out of a game in a stadium which will hold 40k.

  3. I agree it’s certainly a shame if those pillars are permanant.It does indeed look like the stand in o connor park but i’d say the machale park one looks considerably bigger.In fact by my calculations it’s the biggest outside of croker and the new stand in Semple.The idea to put more of those terrible 1930’s style concreate benches at the albany end is a joke.Obviously we can’t expect bucket seats all the way around because of the cost etc but i think the solution would be to knock the ends behind the goals an put terracing there.A stadium that is 75% concreat benches is not an “all seater” stadium.Having said all that I’m still delighted it’s being done up,i just think they could have been done a little better

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