Friday, May 25, 2012

Celtic nations

Celtic Nations - Scotland(Blue), Ireland (Green) Wales (red)
   Here is a map of the Celtic nations. Scotland is 78,387 km2 which makes it the largest of the 3 nations. Scotlands population is about 5.222 Million which also is the largest of the three..

The Republic of Ireland's size is slightly smaller than Scotland's at 70,273. Ireland's  population is also slightly smaller than Scotland's at 4.588 Million est.

Northern Ireland size is 13,843km2 and the population in this Celtic area is about 1.799 if Northern Ireland was combined with Republic of Ireland indicate Ireland (the Green of the map) Ireland would be the largest of the 3 , both in size and population.

Wales (red) is only 20,779km 2 but the population is 3 Million. Wales is the red area on the map.

   Each of these Celtic nations has one huge city. Scotland has Glasgow, Ireland has Dublin, Wales has Cardiff and I do not want to forget Northern Ireland's Belfast.

I am hoping each federation can work with the others and find a way to get this huge sporting event to this area. The Celtic area would invite 24 nations and their fans to celebrate this great event in these major cities. This would be a huge economic boon for the cities mentioned and each country as a whole.
  The 24 nations would bring their rabbid hans to celebrate this huge event.

These countries do not have to build, the so called "white elephant", a new 50k stadium and have it site there after the tournamnet is over. These countries already have the stadiums thanks to the GAA and Rugby stadiums.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Celtic Euro 2020 Bid, Stadium issues

Celtic EURO 2020 Bid
            The Celtic Bid has a good shot. Turkey has the economy and will do everything to invest in the infrastructure and stadium. The problem is Turkey is bidding for the Olympics the same year. Turkey cannot host both tournaments and the EUFA and IOC knows this. This has opened the door for Georgia and the Celtic bids. If Turkey gets the Olympics 2020 then Euro 2020 is between Georgia and the Celtic nations. Georgia is the long shot since they presently only have 1 stadium over 30k. They would need at least 8 to 9 new stadiums. This is a long shot for this poor country to finance this.                                                                                    

Murryfield, Edinburgh 67,200

This leaves the only other option; the Celtic 2020 bid. Scotland is the lead nation since they bid for Euro 2008 and are the ones who initiated this bid. The little problem is that EURO wants 9 or 10 Stadiums over 30k. (Euro really wants 2 stadiums over 50k, 3 over 40k and 4 over 30k.)  Obviously the Scots/Wales could not do this by themselves. The Scots and Wales turned to their Celtic neighbor (Ireland) to help with the stadium requirement.  I was a little surprised after the Nations “Celtic” Cup (Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland) held in Ireland. The other nations were not happy with the FAI. They all complained that the ticket prices were way too high. Northern Ireland fans boycotted the games since they were upset with Ireland when Northern Irish born players were choosing to play for Ireland. Only 529 showed for the Wales/Northern Ireland game. The 3 other federations also were upset with the lack of compensation the FAI gave them. This was the first and last Nations Cup that the FAI started. It seems Scotland has put this issue behind them and asked Ireland to join them in a last minute bid for Euro 2020. The Euro Cup is the 3rd biggest sporting event in the World behind the World Cup and the Olympics. This is a big deal.         
            The Euro 2020 Tournament will have 24 nations participate. That will mean 6 groups of 4 nations, just like 1994 FIFA World Cup (USA). The USA had 2 groups share 3 venues.  It is my belief that EURO officials will want each group to have at least 3 stadiums in 2 different cities. This will spread the tournament around, which would be good for each country and good for Euro Cup. This is where things could get tricky but exceptions could always be made. Scotland and Ireland have similar issues but can accommodate this. Wales is the country with the bigger stadium issues.                                                                                                                                    
Here is at quick look at how I see each federation accomplishing their task.

(5,250 Million est.)
Celtic Park
Hampden Park
Ibroz Stadium
Murryfield Stadium
*Stadium not yet built

Scotland’s population is about 5,250 Million. Scotland‘s largest city is Glasgow (1.5M population est.). Glasgow already has the 3 soccer stadiums they could use to host. They are Celtic Park, Hampden Park and Ibroz Stadium. The problem is that all 3 are located in one city. The stadium I see being dropped is Celtic Park because some of the seating has obstructed viewing.                                                                                    
The second biggest urban area in Scotland is Edinburg. The biggest stadium in Scotland’s Capitol is Murryfield Stadium. Murryfield is owned by the Scotland Rugby so Scottish Football Association (SFA) must negotiate with them to obtain this park. Scotland has 2 soccer stadiums ready and only one stadium to negotiate with. Scotland has taken the lead on this bidding so I see them lobbing and getting quarter finals, semi-finals and probably the finals.
Millennium Stadium CArdiff 74,500

Wales (3 Million)
 Millennium Stadium
 Cardiff City Stadium
Liberty Stadium
$ needs expansion/ investment but nothing planned
     is in the worst shape with the stadium criteria. It is my assumption Wales will want to host 2 groups with 3 stadiums however a stadium in Cork City, Ireland may bail them out. Wales’ population is about 3 Million. Cardiff is the capitol and its largest City. Greater Cardiff is estimate at 861,000. Their biggest stadium is Millennium Stadium located in Cardiff. This stadium is owned by the Welch Rugby Union. Wale’s football federation will have to negotiate with them to obtain this site for 10 day for the group stage and 3 weeks for group stage and a quarter final games. The second largest stadium is also in the Capitol, Cardiff Stadium. This stadium could increase its capacity to reach the 30k.  This will gives Football Association Wales (FAW) 2 stadiums in Cardiff.                                                                                                          

  Swansea is their second largest urban area. The largest stadium is Liberty Stadium. Liberty Stadium only has capacity for 20,500.  Expanding this stadium to 30k may be too much to ask if FAW has to invest in Cardiff Stadium first. Ideally, I would like each nation to have at least 2 cities. Wale’s has a big problem here.    This is where Cork City, Ireland comes into play. Cork just might have a stadium to satisfy Wale’s needs.

Aviva Stadium, Dublin 51,700

(4.722 Million)
Croke Park
Aviva Stadium
Thomond Park
Páirc Uí Chaoimh
Cork City

            Ireland is in better shape than Wales but slightly behind Scotland. The population of Ireland is 4,722 Million people. Greater Dublin is closer to 1,801 Million. Greater Dublin population makes up over 39% of Irelands population. It will make scene to have at least 2 venues in Dublin. The FAI has 2 stadiums (Croke Park – Aviva Stadium) they would like to feature. Aviva stadium is owned jointly by the FAI and the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU). Aviva Stadium is the national stadium for the Irish national team. Aviva is the newest (2010) and the best of all the venues in the Celtic bid. Aviva Stadium is Ireland crown jewel for stadiums.                                                                           
The second stadium is also located in Dublin, Croke Park. Croke Park is a owner by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). The GAA would “rent” to the FAI for a game or 2 but a tournament is another story. This would take the biggest and best GAA stadium away from the league at a critical time in the season. Let’s remember money talks and bull shit walks. The GAA is always looking for more income.   Croke Park is a beautiful and massive (82,500) stadium ranking 4th largest in Europe. Dublin, the GAA and the FAI would all benefit if an arrangement could be made to host Euro games in this beautiful Stadium. I think all parties will.
            Ireland’s stadium problem is the same for Scotland and Wales, both stadiums are in the same city. The next stadium the FAI would like is in Limerick. The FAI has already mentioned in Thomond Park. Thomond Park is a beautiful and newer (2008) rugby stadium owned by the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU). The stadium is slightly under capacity at 25,600. This capacity could be easily expanded with temporary end zone seating to increase to 30k.  This stadium would provide Ireland with 3 fine stadiums in 2 different cities (Dublin-Limerick).   
            This leaves one stadium short of the 9 required if Wales cannot obtain the requirements with both Liberty Stadium (Swansea) and Cardiff Stadium.                      Cork City is in Ireland and this city may just want to host some games. Cork City is Ireland 2nd largest city. Cork City is close to Wales and has a ferry shuttle between Cork City and Wales. This would provide easy and cheap transportation between the countries for the fans.                                                                                              
  This is where the stadium comes into play. Pairc Ui Chaoimh is a stadium that is owned by the GAA. Pairc Ui Chaoimh is going to invest 45Million Euro to remodel the stadium. The plan is to increase capacity from 43,000 to 50,000. There was to be an all weather pitch build beside the stadium, a center of excellence adjacent to the newly remodel stadium. A restaurant, new player and referee changing rooms, corporate boxes and a medical room. Fianna Fail councelor Sean Martin described it as a “once in a life time chance to provide top-class facilities”. This stadium would only be ranked second (comparing GAA stadium) behind Croke Park.
This stadium could provide Cork City the ability to draw Euro 2020 to their home city. Cork City has all the amenities of a big city. It has an international airport, hotel space and many restaurants. Does it have the desire to host this event? I believe this is a great opportunity to expose this city and capitalize on tourism. There will be many soccer fans that will rent cars, rooms and cottages. These fans will also be sending money in restaurants and at pubs to cheer on their national team.          
 The tournament would now encompass Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dublin, Limerick, Cork and Cardiff City. This would be a tremendous tournament where we could see a Celtic nation go deep into this tournament.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

LOI attendance 2012

LOI 2012 First 8 games (1/4 of eseason)
Clubweek 1week 2week -3week-4week-5week-6Week-7week-8Average
Shamrock Rovers    2,950   5,000  4,600   3,200              3,938
Cork City F.C.  3,912  4,324   2,888   2,431  3,142           3,339
Derry City F.C. 3,500      3,000   1,500   1,500           2,375
Sligo Rovers    2,097  2,573   2,586   2,488              2,436
St. Patrick's Ath 1,474   1,205    3,250   1,228           1,894
Bohemians F.C.  2,690   1,423   1,508   1,378           1,750
Shelbourne F.C. 1,918   1,251   1,822   1,008              1,500
Dundalk F.C.  1,500   925   1,362               1,262
Drogheda United 1,553   1,287   800   1,282  1,048           1,194
Monaghan United 1,500    750   na               1,125
Bray Wanders  300   600   1,500                  800
U.C.D 698     376   244   772  1,750              768
Weekly average    1,774     2,242     1,836      1,950      2,157      1,824     1,864      1,674    
  10,643   13,449   11,016    11,698    12,940      9,120   11,181   10,046   90,093.00

  These are all the home games for the first 8 games. The Shamrock Rovers and Cork City F.C. pull the league average up.
    Sligo does outstanding for the small population they draw from.
I will look for Derry to increase with better games at the Brandywell.
St Pat's benefited with the hoops visit in the 6th week.
Nice joj to the Boh's fans.
Shel's are consistent
Dundalk is keeping pace.
Disappointed with the Drogh's fans. This is a most exciting season and attendance is 11th best.?????? Go jump in the boyne River and wake up

Monaghan is doing well for bottom of the table dwellers.
UCD.....very good team...ok fans...i know it is hard.
Bray must build their fan base..

Limerick F.C. hoping for better even if they play in the First Division