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The design for the proposed new Lansdowne Road stadium was unveiled by Mr John O'Donoghue, TD, Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism at a function held earlier today at the Ballsbridge venue.

The final design for the impressive futuristic structure was presented to the media today at rugby headquarters.

Mr O'Donoghue also announced today that the 50,000 all-seater stadium will now cost €365 million, some €70 million more than the original estimate.

Despite this, he also confirmed that no extra Government funding is being promised on the original commitment of €191m.

The Football Association of Ireland, Irish Rugby Football Union and Government-backed project is expected to take 27 months to complete once full planning permission has been approved.

Mr O'Donoghue confirmed that plans are on schedule to lodge for planning permission in December of this year.

The design, which has been created by international stadia architects HOK Sport Architecture, working with Ireland's Scott Tallon Walker, is for a 50,000 all-seated stadium.  

The new design which has been created by the HOK/Scott Tallon Walker team has evolved over a four-month period during which when the Design Team met with many of the different stakeholder groups involved in and impacted by the stadium.

The design consists of four levels on three sides, sweeping down to one level at the North End to minimise the impact on those residents living in closest proximity to the stadium. 

The design also makes wide usage of both translucent and reflective materials all of which are designed to minimise the impact on the local area by reflecting as much light as possible.

Commenting on the design the Minister said: "This is another major piece of sporting infrastructure in the city of Dublin which will be enjoyed by all Irish people. We can be proud of this imaginative and attractive design. It is a superb modern structure and one which I hope will come to be an icon for Irish rugby and soccer followers."

Speaking of the design Mr Philip Browne, chairman of Lansdowne Road Stadium Development Company, complimented the Design Team on what he said was a most innovative solution to the challenges they faced.

He said: "This is a very different stadium to the one which we looked at in our original feasibility study. We believe the team has taken on board many of the concerns raised and have addressed them without compromising their design. They have also built in a great deal more facilities than we originally had hoped for. This in turn has given us a wider range of funding opportunities."

As we have already indicated the budget for the stadium will be €365 million (€321m plus VAT). Given the additional funding opportunities through the provision of additional premium seats and corporate facilities the IRFU and the FAI are confident that the additional monies needed will be raised by the two associations. As you know, the Government is providing a generous contribution of €191 million.

Speaking on behalf of HOK Sport Architecture the Senior Principal, Rod Sheard, said: "The new Lansdowne Road Stadium is a design for the 21st century, symbolising the positive future for sport in Ireland. It will be a sporting and entertainment venue that provides facilities and comfort levels comparable to the best in the world."

"The stadium has been designed to be distinctive and to complement its setting in the heart of the city, creating a national stadium which will be globally recognisable as the home of Irish rugby and football."