St Patrick’s Athletic President Tom O’Mahony was a guest on Friday's OTB AM as he gave more insight into their vision for the future.
The Dublin club went public with their ambitious plans for the development of new grounds this week.
Dublin City Council are also expecting at least two additional submissions. A bid that centres on the private development of units with 50% allocated for social or affordable housing is also set to be tabled according to reports.
St Pats say they will not seek any grants from the government and they claim the stadium development will be financially independent.
Garrett Kelleher is spearheading the plan; he has been in control of the club for more than a decade and has pumped more than €3.7m into the business. Under St Pats' proposals, DCC would give them the side and they could construct the civil amenities before handing them back to the council.
Mr Kelleher declined the opportunity to speak about the project. The President of St Patrick’s Athletic, Tom O’Mahony invited Off The Ball to Richmond Park this week to speak in greater detail about their vision for the future.
He says the club are not in a position to reveal details of the cost of the proposed development of a new ground or the investors involved.
“The City Council owns the site but they want to do a partnership with a developer so we are saying we can be that developer. The nature of that deal will have to be worked out, it will probably be something along the lines of the City council would give us the site we would so the thing and give them back all the civic facilities and then whatever values needed to change hands would all be part of the negotiation process.”
O’Mahony says Kelleher will retain ownership of the Richmond Arena which will encompass the stadium, retail and other amenities. There is was also a suggestion that Richmond Park will be rezoned for housing development:
“When we move across if everything goes to plan well clearly we don’t need here, this is an excellent site for development, its right on the banks of the river. Inchicore is going to thrive in the future especially when this development happens.
“I would imagine what would happen is this site will be developed we’d have more people coming in to live in Inchicore, they will live here they will bring disposal income into the area which will support the retail facilities, the civic facilities and hopefully will put a lot more bums on seats in our stadium.”
O’Mahony noted that the response to the news has been overwhelmingly positive with fans and local politicians backing the proposal. He did want to address what he felt was ‘negative’ coverage of the announcement.
O'Mahony said: “A point that people have raised and it’s a criticism I’d like to take head on, because a few people have said the club doesn’t get gates of 12,000 or anywhere near it so why are we talking about building a 12,000 seater stadium?
“Our average gates are below 2,000 - the highest we’ve had this season was nearly 3,000 for the match against Cork this season. You don’t build a stadium to cater for your average crowd, you build a stadium to cater for the size of crowd that you may need from time to time.”