A Virtual Tour of the Newest Stadium in the Oldest Venue

The oldest international rugby venue in the world, Lansdowne Road, and its brand new 51,700 all-seater Aviva Stadium opened its doors to the world on Saturday 31 July 2010. Here is my virtual tour as I sat in awe of this wonderful new stadium.

One wonders what historic moments in rugby and football (soccer) will emerge over the next 50 years (although difficult to imagine, if you’re over 50!). What magical moments of wizardry and wonderful moments of sportsmanship will emerge?

Leinster v Ulster was the first (16 Dec 1876) and last (31 Dec 2006) game of rugby played at the old Lansdowne Road stadium. The first international match was played way back in Victorian times in 1878 (when Ireland was under British rule). When the Republic of Ireland was eventually established, both the Republic and the North Of Ireland still united, every year, to wear the green shirt and take on the world’s best rugby teams. Football does not do this, except once, in 1973 a United Ireland team* took on the World champions, Brazil. The venue? Lansdowne Road. For 128 years Lansdowne Road was an international venue, much loved by anyone who visited. It then closed its doors for a moment (three and a half years in the greater scheme of things) and moved its rugby and football events to the hidden jewel in Ireland’s crown, the 82,500 Croke Park, HQ of the GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association)*.

What historic events and wonderful sportsmanship moments will emerge in this, the newest stadium in the oldest venue? Perhaps it is the oldest international sports venue in the world – can someone enlighten me?

* See the full stories of the 1973 moment when Ireland united in football in Lansdowne Road and also the 2007 moment when ‘God saved Croke Park’ in the Great Moments Of Sportsmanship collection of published short stories.

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4 Responses to A Virtual Tour of the Newest Stadium in the Oldest Venue

  1. Tom Broderick August 20, 2010 at 3:11 pm #

    What a fantastic stadium, let’s hope the teams can do the venue justice, if so we could be in for a real treat. Tom Brod

  2. Joe Tozer September 10, 2010 at 10:19 am #

    Excellent tour thanks guys.Couldn’t afford the tickets.

  3. closrumbpec December 24, 2010 at 9:29 am #

    “Here is my virtual tour as I sat in awe of this wonderful new stadium.”
    Are you sure that this is so?


  1. Kiwis coming to play or to cheat? « Great Moments Of Sportsmanship - November 15, 2010

    […] The Kiwis don’t need to cheat because they are absolute fantastic rugby players. I think, over time, they are the best in the world. Perhaps it’s that absolute desperateness to win that stops them winning big World Cup games. Too much desperation to win? Who knows? We admire the mighty All Blacks’ rugby and hope they will play true and proud rugby on Saturday on this, their first visit, to the Mecca of rugby – the world’s oldest international rugby venue with the world’s newest international stadium (see 60 second video tour). […]

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