Nowlan Park, Kilkenny
Floodlights are not on the agenda for Kilkenny GAA headquarters, Nowlan Park.
As the County Board plans the next stage of development at the ’Park and other properties, there are no plans to upgrade the popular venue to facilitate the staging of games at night.
Had Ireland won the right to stage the Rugby World Cup in 2023 things would have been different.
Nowlan Park was being seriously considered as a venue. Floodlighting would have been included as part of the upgrade required for the hosting of certain group matches.
Generous grants would have been available to assist with the work in that scenario, but the ’Board won't be going it alone.
There is no immediate demand for night games here, but other counties like Laois, Tipperary, Kerry and Cork have added floodlights at grounds in recent years.
The likelihood is that Kilkenny will explore the idea in the long term.
Finances in the county are in a healthy state, and have been for a decade and more.
That is despite extensive improvement work carried out at Nowlan Park and the development of the new training facility at Dunmore.
The ’Board showed a net surplus of €183,600 for 2017 at the most recent annual Convention.
And the National Hurling League win a few weeks ago will provide the ’Board with a major financial windfall.
The returns from the ’League over the last two years were €180,654 (2017; including €79,917 season tickets) and €201,055 (2016; including €80,291 season tickets).
Biggest share of pot
As champions, Kilkenny will command the biggest share of the pot this time.
Consequently, the finances of the ’Board will be really solid.
Top of the list of 'want to do' developments is the provision of a state-of-the-art gym at the Dunmore training centre.
Players doing rehab currently work in the gym in Nowlan Park, often while their colleagues are training in Dunmore.
A new gym at the training centre would be more advantageous for everyone.
The provision of floodlights on the second pitch at Dunmore has also been prioritised.
Currently the steel work on extensive sections of the main stand at the ’Park is being repainted.
The drainage system on the pitch will be upgraded after the Leinster Round Robin series of games, but that will not interfere with the use of the grounds for training or matches.
New ticket sales points on the Hebron Road side of the grounds and the upgrading of facilities for broadcasters are also currently underway.
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