Don’t forget to join the discussion on twitter. Tweet @cian_mort using #GUFCstadium,
Terryland Park, or Eamonn Deacy Park as it’s known now, is and has been the home of Galway United for decades. There is also no doubting the quality of the ground – drawing plaudits from both fans and players alike (as I found out when I was talking to Dylan McGlade on the blog recently). However, Terryland has found itself caught in the middle of bitter bickering between United and the Galway FA. This disputes has raised the question of whether United should stick with Terryland or reevaluate its options.
A new option has revealed itself in the last couple of days, since news broke of the Connacht Sportsground’s proposed redevelopment. One aspect that will be of interest to Galway United is that the stadium will be open to multipurpose usage. Were United able to negotiate a fair deal with better rate of rent than is involved with the current arrangement then it would certainly be an idea worth considering, particularly with the potential to make additional income from matchday catering etc. There is also a lot to be said for the location of the Sportsground, particularly in relation to the Eyre Square Centre. Even regardless of potential redevelopment, this is an option United could consider.
The other possible options seem a lot less realistic, for the foreseeable future at least. Calls for a new ground to be built, which would be shared by Galway United and Connacht Rugby, doesn’t appear to have progressed since the scrapped Docks plan. This option now seems a non-runner if the redevelopment of the Sportsground goes ahead. There would also be the issue of trying to fill an even bigger stadium with dwindling support. Speaking as a United fan, the ideal scenario for me would be to see United own Terryland Park, but I can’t see how that might happen.
The final, and most likely, option is to resume the status quo. The current situation is far from ideal – with a crippling rent and restrictions on potential revenue, however, our other options remain limited. Personally, I would hate to see United leave Terryland, and I could also see us struggling to fill a decent percentage of a bigger stadium- which wouldn’t do wonders for the matchday atmosphere.
Have discussed all of that I would really love to hear feedback from others. So don’t forget to tweet @cian_mort using #GUFCstadium.