Alliance says stadium fiasco must not cost us the arena we deserve

Following today’s special DCAL Committee on the stadium debate, Alliance Culture, Arts and Leisure Spokesperson Kieran McCarthy MLA has stated that the disarray within the Executive on the issue might lead to Northern Ireland losing out on the opportunity to have a new stadium, irrespective of the location. He also blasted the Minister for not ruling out merely upgrading the current stadia, in an answer to one of his questions. Mr McCarthy said that his answer might also suggest that the opportunity for a new arena could be sacrificed in the future.

Opposition MLA, Mr McCarthy, said: “The opportunity for a new all sports stadium, irrespective of the location, is slipping away. The chaos over deadlines and the multitude of final reports continues to cloud the situation. The longer this goes on for, the less chance there this that a new multi-sports stadium will be built.

“I was also alarmed that, in answering my question, the Minister would not rule out merely upgrading the current stadia. This might also suggest that the opportunity for a new arena could be sacrificed in the future.

“Edwin Poots credibility has been severely damaged by this crisis. The confusion that surrounded him regarding the selection of a site may ultimately cost us the stadium.

“If the Minister does not set out a concrete timetable to fairly and transparently select a stadium site soon, we can all wave goodbye to the prospect of a new stadium. If there is to be a positive outcome to all this, the Minister must ensure the new stadium lends itself to a shared future and is financially viable.

“This sorry saga is a damning indictment on the Executive. The people who will really suffer are the public because they may end up missing out on a new all-sports arena because of this fiasco.”


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