BY DENIS HURLEY
CORK County Board chairman Ger Lane has expressed an open mind with regard to the county's ladies' football or camogie teams playing at the new PÃ¡irc UÃ Chaoimh, once there's no problem with availability.
The stadium hosted its first game on Wednesday night as Valley Rovers took on Blarney in the county PIHC on Wednesday.Â
Â This weekend, the two All-Ireland hurling quarter-finals take place there, Tipperary clashing with Clare on Saturday and Waterford up against Wexford on Sunday.
The Cork intermediate hurlers will be the first county team from Leeside to take to the field when they play Kilkenny in Sunday's All-Ireland final, which is the curtain-raiser to the south-east derby. The county's senior sides won't get to play there competitively until next spring's national leagues.
The lack of female matches at the old stadium was a bugbear for many, but Lane is open to the prospect of such games in the new facility.
âAny requests would obviously be looked at,' he said, âa lot would depend on availability.
âThere's no problem with hosting women's games, the Cork camogie team have played games in PÃ¡irc UÃ Rinn over the last number of years.'Â
While costs associated with the stadium are estimated to have risen to â¬85m â compared with an initial projection of â¬70m â there is no need for panic, according to Lane.
âWe expect the stadium to be able to pay for itself when it's up and running,' he said.
âWe'll hopefully have a lot of events on there, a lot of games there and things going on to generate income.
âThat's the intention, that the stadium won't be a burden on the board or the clubs going forward. It has always been the intention that clubs wouldn't be levied â we have the county board draw and a ticket scheme that is going rather well.
âThey're ways of generating finance and that's the way we see it continuing for the foreseeable future.'
A potential source of recouping costs is naming rights, with Vodafone having been rumoured to be in the running.
âNaming rights are something that we're interested in having,' Lane said.
âThey're not something that have been finalised yet, it's something being nudged along, week by week and month by month. We're not in a position to announce anything at this point but we're hopeful of that somewhere down the road.'