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Official Connacht GAA Website

Official Website of Connacht GAA

Project Overview

The Connacht GAA Centre of Excellence

In December 2012 Connacht GAA officially opened a GAA Centre of Excellence in the heartlands of Connacht. The creation of the complex in Bekan, Co Mayo was a huge undertaking that resulted in facilities that are unparalleled in the region, including:

 Outdoor

  • Six pitches – five full size Prunty pitches and one 3G Pitch – of which five are floodlit
  • A perimeter walking/running track measuring 2.2 kms
  • Parking for up to 400 cars and 20 buses

Indoor

A main building with:

Games Based Facilities:

  • Gymnasium
  • Functional Movement Room
  • Analysis Suite
  • Two Physio Rooms
  • Six Dressing/Referees Rooms
  • Storage facilities

Administrative and Community-Orientated Amenities: 

  • Connacht GAA administrative Headquarters
  • Six offices
  • Three meeting rooms
  • Lecture theatre
  • Board room
  • Dining hall and full catering kitchen

 

 The Air Dome

After careful consideration Connacht GAA determined that the second phase of work at the Centre should focus on the creation of an indoor facility sufficiently large to accommodate a full-size GAA pitch and to transform into a venue for exhibitions, concerts and conferences.

Initial Steps

Our extensive research led us to conclude that the optimal choice for our site and needs was an inflatable air dome.

In late 2018, Connacht GAA was among the first round of successful applicants for the Dept. of Rural and Community Development ‘Rural Regeneration and Development Fund’ – Minister Michael Ring announced an award of €2.1 million towards the construction of an air dome.

Construction

Construction of our 150 m (L) by 100 m (W) by 26m (H) Air Dome began in October 2019. Nine months later, despite the lockdown, the largest sports air dome in the world was inflated. We are grateful for the hugely professional team – Prunty Pitches, Slovenian-based DBS Engineering, SIS Pitches and Tobin Engineering – who delivered the Connacht GAA Air Dome. Incredibly, we are now in the final stages of fit out.

Housing a full-size indoor GAA playing field, a running track and gym to accommodate 30 people at one time, the Dome enables Connacht GAA to become an all-weather, fully adaptable facility suitable for year-round club, school, county and community sports and events.

In addition, the completed Dome, within 72 hours, can be transformed into fully functional, adaptable conference arena unique on the island of Ireland.

Impact

We can’t overstate the transformative impact the Dome will have.

Numbers:

  • On-Site Dome Capacity
    • 2,000+ for games
    • 10,000-20,000 (seated and standing) for concerts/events
  • Projected 100% increase in patron footfall (to 100,000 p/a) over three years beginning with a conservative 20% increase in 2021
  • Continued organic growth in our social media engagement – 9.5% increase in Twitter followers in the past year with our highest performing tweet in the past 90 days relating to the Air Dome (40,000 impressions, 6,000+ engagements)
  • Partnerships with multiple entities such as:
    • Ireland West Airport
    • Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP)
    • Health Service Executive
    • Future Leaders (a GAA/ Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST) programme)
    • Events management agencies
    • Best-in-class health and fitness professionals

People:

  • Extension of the access and play: year-round, all-weather training and games
  • Simultaneous gym sessions for a full squad
  • Bespoke player assessment and programme development including establishment of individual fitness levels and monitoring of progress through season
  • Market leading in-game video analysis with 10 HD cameras simultaneously recording the action
  • Streaming of live games via our YouTube Channel and other social media platforms.
  • Concerts & Exhibitions
  • Executive training days
  • Greatly increased capacity to work with minority, disadvantaged and/or marginalised groups e.g. newcomers to the area, recent immigrants, children and adults with special needs, young school leavers

Investing in Our Vision

Connacht GAA is now seeking partners to help future proof the Dome and promote the Centre’s associated programmes and offerings far and wide.

We have developed attractive sponsorship opportunities (link to Sponsorship tab – see below) with benefits including naming rights, promotional opportunities, discrete employee health and wellbeing programmes, and access to events and tickets.

Our reach regionally and nationally, and the Dome’s scale and potential, provides business leaders with an opportunity to play a role in this project’s success while advancing their own human resource, social responsibility, and marketing aims.