Croke Park (Irish: Pairc an Chrócaigh , IPA: [paːɾʲc ən xɾˠoːkˠə]) is a GAA stadium located in Dublin, Ireland. Named after Archbishop Thomas Croke, it is often called Croker of certain GAA fans and locals. It serves both as the main stadium and headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA).

Since 1884 the site has been used primarily by the GAA to host Gaelic games, mostly annual All-Ireland finals in football and hurling. Both the opening and closing ceremonies Ispecial Olympics in 2003, as well as numerous concerts with big international acts, have been held in the arena.During construction of the Aviva Stadium, Croke Park, hosts games played by Ireland national rugby team, Team and Ireland national football team. In June 2012, the stadium was to host the conclusion of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress, during which Pope Benedict XVI gave an address of the video link to about eighty thousand people. [2] [3]

After a restructuring program launched in the 1990s, has Croke Park a capacity of 82,300, [4] making it the third largest stadium in Europe, and it’s not usually used for association football.

Urban and suburban court

A fireworks and light display was held in Croke Park in front of 79.161 fans on Saturday, January 31, 2009 to mark the GAA’s 125th anniversary

The area now known as the Croke Park was owned in the 1880s by Maurice Butterly and known as the City and Suburban Racecourse or the Jones Road sports ground. From 1890 it was also used by Bohemian Football Club. 1901 Jones Road host IFA Cupfotbollsfinalen when Clifton defeated Freebooters.[5]


Recognizing the potential of Jones Road sports a journalist and member of the GAA, Frank Dineen, borrowed much of the £ 3,250 asking price and bought the land in 1908. In 1913 the GAA came to the exclusive ownership of the property when they bought it from for £ Dineen 3500. The land was then renamed Croke Park in honor of Archbishop Thomas Croke, one of the GAA first patron.

In 1913 Croke Park had only two stands on what is now called the Hogan stand side and grass banks around. In 1917, a grassy hill built on the railway end of Croke Park to give customers a better view of the field. This terrace was originally known as Hill 60, after the Battle of Hill 60 during World War II.A few decades later, it was later renamed Hill 16 and a myth may develop that it was built from the ruins of the Easter Rising.

In the 1920s, set the GAA to create a high-capacity stadium at Croke Park.After Hogan Stand, the Cusack Stand, named after Michael Cusack from Clare (who founded the GAA and served as its first secretary), was built in 1927. 1936 saw the first double-deck Cusack Stand open with 5000 points, and concrete terrasse built on Hill 16. 1952 Nally Stand was built in memory of Pat Nally, another founder of the GAA. Seven years later, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the GAA, the first cantilever “New Hogan Stand” was opened.

The highest attendance ever recorded at an All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final was 90,556 for Offaly v Down in the 1961st Since the introduction of seating Cusack to stand in 1966, the largest amount recorded was 84,516.

Bloody Sunday

Bloody Sunday memory plaque

Main article: Bloody Sunday (1920)

During the Irish War of Independence November 21, 1920 Croke Park was the scene of a massacre of the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC). The police, supported by the British Auxiliary Division into the ground and shot into the crowd, killing or mortally wounded 14 civilians during a Dublin – Tipperary Gaelic football match. The dead included 13 spectators and Tipperary player, Michael Hogan .Postumt Hogan stand was built in 1924 was named in his honor. These shootings, the day became known as Bloody Sunday, was a retaliation for the murder of 15 people in connection with the Cairo Gang, a group of British intelligence officers, Michael Collins’s ‘troop’ earlier that day.

Stadium construction

In 1984 the organization decided to investigate ways to increase the capacity of the old stadium. The design for a 80,000 capacity stadium was completed in 1991. Gaelic sports have particular needs that they take place on a large field. A specific requirement was to ensure that spectators were not too far from the playing field. This resulted in a three-level design from which is possible to view the game: the main concourse, a premium level includes hospitality facilities and the upstairs hall. Premium level includes restaurants, bars and conference facilities. The project was divided into four phases over 14 years. Such was the importance of Croke Park and the GAA for hosting big matches, the stadium did not finish during the renovation.During each phase, different parts of the ground was redeveloped, while the rest of the stadium open. Big games, including the annual All-Ireland hurling and football finals, played in the stadium during the entire development process.

On the outside of the Cusack Stand

phase one

The first phase of construction was to build a replacement for Croke Park Cusack Stand. A lower deck was opened for use in 1994. The upper deck was opened in 1995. Completed at a cost of £ 35 million, the new stand 180 meters long, 35 meters high, has a capacity for 27,000 people and includes 46 hospitality suites. The new Cusack Stand contains three levels watching games is possible: the main concourse, a premium level includes hospitality facilities and finally an upper concourse. One end of the pitch was closer to the stand after this phase, as the process of weakly återinriktnings pitch during the redevelopment of the stadium began.

phase two

Phase two of the development began in late 1998 and involved the extension of the new Cusack Stand to replace the existing Canal End terrace. It is now known as The Davin Stand (Irish: Ardan Dáimhím ), by Maurice Davin, the first president of the GAA. This phase also saw the creation of a tunnel which was later named Ali tunnel honor Muhammad Ali and his fight against Al Lewis in July 1972 in Croke Park. [6]

phase three

Phase three saw the construction of the new Hogan Stand. This requires a greater variety of audience categories to fit including general spectators, corporate customers, VIP, broadcast and media services and operations staff.Extras included a fitted out mezzanine level of VIP and Ard Comhairle (If dignitaries seated) with a peak in the press media facility. At the end of phase three took the total audience capacity Croke Park to 82,000.

phase four

After the Olympics 2003 Special, began construction in September 2003 on the final stage, phase four. This meant that the rebuilding of the Nally Stand, named after the athlete Pat Nally, and Hill 16 into a new Nally End / Dineen Hill 16 terrace. While the name Nally had been used for the stand it replaced, the use of the name Dineen was new, and was in honor of Frank Dineen, who bought the original stadium of the GAA in 1908, giving it to them in 1913. The old Nally Stand was removed and remounted in Pairc Colmcille, home Carrickmore GAA in Co Tyrone. [7] phase four development inaugurated by former GAA President Seán Kelly on 14 March 2005. logistical reasons (and to some extent, for historical reasons), and also to provide affordable high-capacity space , the area is a terrace rather than a sitting position, the only remaining standing room in Croke Park. Unlike the previous Hill, the new terrace is divided into separate sections – Hill A (Cusack stands side), B Hill (behind the goal) and the Nally Terrace (on the site of the old Nally Stand).The fully remodeled Hill has a capacity of about 13200, which is the total capacity of the stadium to 82.300.Detta made the stadium the 2nd largest in Europe after the Nou Camp, Barcelona. The new Wembley Stadium has now taken over second place in Croke Park in the third presence of terracing means for international football, the capacity is reduced to about 73,500, because of the FIFA Statutes indicate that the competition games must be played in all directions arenas.

A panorama of Croke Park for the All-Ireland Football Final in 2004


Croke Park floodlights in use during the Six Nations Championship match

The pitch of Croke Park is a ground pitch that replaced the Desso GrassMaster pitch in 2002. There had been several complaints from players and managers that plan, which was installed in 2002, was too hard and too slippery, so the decision was taken to replace the traditional earth rise. [8]

Since January 2006, a so-called special growth and lighting systems SGL Concept has been used to help grass growing conditions, even during the winter months. The system, created by the Dutch company SGL (Stadium Grow Lighting), helps to control and manage all pitch growth factors, such as light, temperature, CO 2 , water, air and nutrients. [9]


With the 2007 Six Nations clash with France and possibly other matches in the following years requiring illumination GAA installed floodlights in the stadium (after planning permission was granted). In fact, many other GAA basis around the country began to erect floodlights as the organization begins to hold the games in the evenings, while the traditional big games were played almost exclusively on Sunday afternoon. The first game to be played under those lights at Croke Park was a National Football League Division One match between Dublin and Tyrone February 3, 2007 Tyrone won in front of a capacity crowd of over 81,000 – which is still a record attendance for the National League games, with Ireland’s Six Nations match with France after 11 February. [10] Temporary floodlights were installed for American Bowl game between the Chicago Bears and the Pittsburgh Steelers on the field in 1997, and again for the 2003 Special Olympics.


Concerts at Croke Park
Date Artist Tour Presence
June 29, 1985 U2 The Unforgettable Fire Tour 57000
1986 Simple Minds
27 and June 28, 1987 U2 The Joshua Tree Tour 114000
June 28, 1996 Tina Turner Wildest Dreams Tour
16 and May 18, 1997 Garth Brooks World Tour II
29 and May 30, 1998 Elton John & Billy Joel Face to Face Tour
24, 25 and June 27, 2005 U2 Vertigo Tour 246743
May 20, 2006 Bon Jovi Have a Nice Day Tour 81327
June 9, 2006 Robbie Williams Close Encounters Tour
May 30, 2008 Celine Dion Take chances Tour
June 1, 2008 Westlife Back Home Tour 85000
June 14, 2008 Neil Diamond
June 13, 2009 Take it Take That Present: The Circus Live
24, 25 and July 27, 2009 U2 U2 360 ° Tour 243198
June 5, 2010 Westlife Where we are tour 86500
18 and June 19, 2011 Take it Progress Live 154828
22 and June 23, 2012 Westlife The Farewell Tour 170000
June 26, 2012 Red Hot Chili Peppers I’m With You Tour
23, 24 and May 25, 2014 A direction Where we are tour 235008
20 JUNI 2015 The Script & Pharrell Williams No sound but Silencetour 74635
24 and July 25, 2015 ed Sheeran X Tour 162308
27 and May 29, 2016 Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band The River Tour 2016 160188
July 9, 2016 Beyoncé Formation World Tour 68575

Disputes about playing non-Gaelic games

Further information: List of non-Gaelic games in Croke Park

There was great debate in Ireland as regards the use of Croke Park for other than those of the GAA sports. Since the GAA was founded as a nationalist organization to maintain and promote the native Irish sports, is it felt honor-bound throughout its history to oppose others, foreign (in practice, UK), sports. In turn, nationalist groups supported the GAA as the prime example of pure Irish sporting culture. [11]

Until its abolition in 1971, rule 27 of the GAA constitution stated that a member of the GAA can be banned from playing their game if they are found to be also playing association football, rugby or cricket. This rule was abolished menregel 42 still forbidden to use the property for GAA games with interests in conflict with the interests of the GAA. The belief was that rugby and association football was in competition with Gaelic football and hurling, and that if the GAA allowed these sports to use their land, it can be harmful for Gaelic games, while other sports, is not seen as direct competitors of Gaelic football and hurling, allowed, such as the two games of American football (Croke Park Classic college football game between the University of Central Florida and Penn State, and an American Bowl preseason NFL game between the Chicago Bears and the Pittsburgh Steelers) at Croke Park pitch in the 1990s. [12]

16 April 2005 a motion to temporarily relax a rule No 42 adopted at the GAA annual congress. The motion gives the GAA Central Council the power to authorize rental or leasing of Croke Park for purposes other than those covered by the association, in a period when the events Lansdowne Road – the site of international soccer and rugby matches – was closed for redevelopment. The end result was 227 in favor of the motion to 97 against, 11 votes more than the required two-thirds majority.

In January 2006 it was announced that the GAA had agreed with the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) and Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) to step two Six Nations games and four soccer internationals at Croke Park in 2007, and in February 2007, using the plan of FAI and IRFU in 2008 was also agreed.[13] These contracts were within the temporary relaxation terms Lansdowne Road was still under renovation until 2010 although the GAA had said that hosting the use of Croke Park would not extend beyond 2008, regardless of the rebuilding progress, [13] equipment [14] for the 2009 Six Nations rugby tournament saw the Irish rugby team, with the help of Croke Park for a third season. February 11, 2007 saw the first rugby union international to be played there. Ireland was leading France in a Six Nations clash, but lost 17-20 after conceding a last minute (converted) to try. Raphael Ibanez made the first attempt in the game, Ronan O’Gara was Ireland’s first ever attempt at Croke Park.

A second match between Ireland and England, February 24, 2007 politically symbolic because of the events of Bloody Sunday in 1920. [15] There was considerable concern about what the reaction would be to sing the British national anthem “God Save the Queen”. Ultimately, the song was sung without interruption or incident, and applauded by both sets of supporters at the match, which Ireland won 43-13 (their biggest ever win over England in rugby).

On 2 March 2010 Ireland played his last international rugby match against Scotland teams playing to avoid the wooden spoon and not won a championship match against Ireland since 2001. Outside-half Dan Parks inspired the Scots to a 3-point victory and ended Irish hopes a triple crown.[16]

On 24 March 2007, the first association football match took place at Croke Park. It took Ireland Wales in UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying Group D, with Stephen Ireland goal to secure a 1-0 victory for the Irish in front of a crowd of 72,500. Prior to this, the IFA Cup had played in the former Jones Road 1901, but it was 12 years before the GAA took ownership.

Negotiations took place for the NFL International Series the 2011 games will be held at Croke Park but the game went to Wembley Stadium. [17] [18] In July 2013 it was announced that Penn State would open their 2014 college football season against Central Florida at Croke Park . [19]

World presence

On May 2, 2009 Croke Park was the site of a Heineken Cup rugby semi-finals, where Leinster defeated Munster 25-6. The presence of 82,208 set a new world record attendance for a club rugby games. [20] This record stood until 31 March 2012, when it was surpassed by an English Premier League game between Harlequins and Saracens at Wembley Stadium to host a crowd of 83,761. [21]

Skyline tour

A walkway, [22] known under a sponsorship agreement Etihad Skyline Croke Park, opened on June 1, 2012. [23] From 44 meters above the ground, offers views of Dublin and the surrounding area. [24] [25] the Olympic torch was carried out to the stadium and along the walkway June 6, 2012.

GAA Hall of Fame

On February 11, 2013 opened the GAA Hall of Fame section in Croke Park museum. The basis for the award is the law of the Millennium football team that was announced in 1999 and the hurling team in 2000 and all 30 players were inducted into the Hall of Fame along with Limerick hurler Eamonn Cregan and Offaly footballer Tony McTague which was chosen by a GAA subcommittee from the years 1970- 74. [26] the new inductees will be chosen annually from the subsequent five years, as well as from the years before 1970. [27] in april 2014 Kerry legend Mick O’Dwyer, Sligo football player micheal Kerins, along with Noel Skehan Kilkenny hurlers and Pat McGrath Waterford became the second group of former players to receive hall of Fame awards. [28]

See also

  • Hill 16
  • List of the Gaelic Athletic Association arenas
  • List of stadiums in Ireland by capacity
  • Sports in Ireland
    • Gaelic football
    • hurl
    • International rules football
    • Camogie
    • Gaelic handball
  • Thomas Croke
  • Garth Brooks concerts controversy in 2014


  1. Jump up^
  2. Jump up ^ “- 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012”.
  3. Jump up ^ Sinead O’Carroll. “Eucharistic Congress: 80,000 pilgrims gathered in Croke Park for the closing Mass.”
  4. Jump up ^ “Croke Park Stadium, facts and figures.”
  5. Jump up ^ “IFFHS ‘.
  6. Jump up ^ “Rate Card” (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) of 18 March 2009. Retrieved 17 March 2009.
  7. Jump up ^ “Old Stand, New Place” The Irish Independent October 1, 2007
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  9. Jump up ^ SGL. “Stadium Grow Lighting – Home Page”.
  10. Jump up ^ “Dublin and Tyrone seems to play under lights.” RTE News.28 November 2006. Retrieved 12 January 2007.
  11. Jump up ^ Dr. W. Murphy lecture, September 2010
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  13. ^ Jump up to: ab “Croker host rugby and soccer in 2008”. RTE News.February 17, 2007. Retrieved February 19, 2007.
  14. Jump up ^ “official fixture”. Retrieved 8 May 2008.
  15. Jump up ^ “symbolic step for peace on Irish stadium”. Taken 25 februari2007.
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  18. Jump up ^ Battista, Judy (18 April 2011). “Lockout may jeopardize Game Set for London ‘. The New York Times. Retrieved 17, 2011.
  19. Jump up ^ “Report: Penn State, Central Florida will play 2014 games in Dublin.” 9 July 2013.
  20. Jump up ^ Leinster 25-6 Munster. BBC Sport (2 May, 2009)
  21. Jump up ^ “World Record crowd watches Harlequins Saracens sink”.The Sydney Morning Herald. 1 April 2012. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  22. Jump up ^ “Etihad Skyline Croke Park”. Skyline Croke Park. 18 June 2012. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  23. Jump up ^ “Euro 2020 view on HQ”. Irish Examiner. May 24, 2012.Hämtat24 May 2012.
  24. Jump up ^ Hogan, Louise (24 May 2012). “Sky limit of the new Croke Park walkway”. Irish Independent. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
  25. Jump up ^ “ever wanted to see Dublin from 17 floors up? A new horizon tour of Croke Park will wow Thrillse and fans. ” Evening Herald. May 24, 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
  26. Jump up ^ “GAA open Hall of Fame in Croke Park”. February 12, 2013. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
  27. Jump up ^ “Cregan and McTague join Hall of Fame inductees.” Irish Times. February 12, 2013. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
  28. Jump up ^ “Kerry legend Mick O’Dwyer among four inductees to the GAA Museum Hall of Fame.” Irish Independent. 2 April 2014. Retrieved April 2, 2014.