Sunday, 30 June 2013
Non matchday visit of Aviva Stadium, home of Ireland
With a visit to the new stadium at Lansdowne Road to watch a game not looking imminently likely, I decided to do the next best thing and go on a stadium tour.
There is a train station adjacent to the stadium - indeed, the train line actually passes under the West Stand - although I decided to walk from Dublin City Centre, a couple of miles which took about 45 minutes.
Paying a reasonable €10.00 admission, the tour took in the press conference room - where we were shown an interesting film showing action from the old Lansdowne Road, its demolition and the construction of the new stadium, changing rooms, warm up area and player's entrance and tunnel, before walking out of the tunnel and to the pitch. Which today was actually in the process of being ploughed before being relaid, as the previous pitch was deemed not satisfactory after just a year's use. This certainly isn't the average bland identikit stadium, with a really imaginative design that is very easy on the eye, featuring a curved design the slopes very low at the northern end of the stadium, to ensure that surrounding houses do not have their sunlight blocked. Another very nice feature is the glass, see through panes which allows plenty of natural light inside the ground, and has also been designed to collect rainwater to be reused. I was able to climb to the very top of the West stand -not recommended for those who suffer from vertigo - which offered lovely views of Dublin's dockyards.
I was left with a very favourable impression of the Aviva Stadium, architecturally very impressive, has a very distinct design, and boasts all of the modern facilities to be expected in recently built stadia.