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New guidelines on sponsorship of State-funded stadia


The Government has published a review of the process around large scale sport infrastructure funding ahead of a new round of applications later this year, including new guidance on sponsorship of stadiums that receive such funding.

The move follows some rancour over the renaming of Cork GAA’s stadium to Supervalu Pairc Ui Chaoimh earlier this year.

The venue was redeveloped in 2017 with the help of €30m from the State.

Cork GAA currently has a debt of a similar amount due to the large costs the project.

Naming rights were sold to SuperValu to help alleviate some of the debt, but the move was initially negatively received.

Tánaiste Micheál Martin was among those criticising the change of name, with the Cork North Central TD saying he was “deeply disappointed and annoyed”.

In an update this morning ahead of the opening of applications for new funding, it is requested that sports organisations should hold talks with “relevant stakeholders and seek their views on proposed renaming of the stadium concerned”.

The new guidelines also request that the history and cultural significance of the stadium be taken into account before it is rebranded.

The family of Padraig Ó Caoimh, who the stadium is named after, revealed at the time they only learned of the renaming through the media.

The review’s new guidelines read: “In relation to the naming rights of a stadium and/or large scale sports facility, any agreement must take into account whether there will be a negative effect as a result of the agreement being made.

“Prior to any agreement concerning stadium and/or large scale sports facility naming rights being finalised, the grantee should consult with relevant stakeholders and seek their views on the proposed renaming of the stadium concerned.

“Criteria which should be taken into consideration prior to any agreement include whether the proposed renaming of the stadium aligns with the values, purpose and core aims of the organisation concerned.

“The proposed renaming of the stadium and/or large scale sports facility should take into account the history, heritage and cultural links associated with the stadium.”

The final guideline requests that the proposed renaming of the stadium and/or large scale sports facility is proportionate with respect to the overall amount of funds invested in the development.

The upcoming large scale funding is expected to receive a huge volume of applications.

The criteria has also been updated to include a new policy requirement on implementing similar access for men and women to sports facilities.

Women and men must have similar access to facilities, including the ‘best’ training, game and optimal facility times, as well as similar access to social and changing room facilities.

Both sexes should be able to fully participate in all aspects of the club or organisation, including as a player, active participant, coach, administrator, official, volunteer and spectator.

They should also have similar access and use of the sport infrastructure benefitting from any funded projects.


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