Leinster have confirmed a new 25-year agreement that will see the RDS continue to be the home venue of the province.
utgoing CEO Mick Dawson hailed the initial move to the RDS as one of the best decisions Leinster ever made.
The first Leinster game to be played at the Ballsbridge stadium was in September 2005 when the Blues beat Cardiff Rugby 34-15.
It wasn’t until two years later that the first lease was signed, and the venue became Leinster’s permanent home venue. The team duly celebrated the partnership and their new home with a 23-8 win against Edinburgh Rugby in September 2007.
The new agreement provides clarity and secures the RDS Arena as the home for current and future Leinster fans, as well as the team and the Leinster Branch.
“The decision to move to the RDS Arena in 2007 is one of the best decisions Leinster Rugby ever made,” Dawson said.
“We had a brilliant home down in Donnybrook, but for us to grow as a club, as an organisation, we needed a bigger ground and better facilities and that is what we got with the RDS Arena.
“It’s not just about the ground though, as the RDS, as an organisation, have been a brilliant partner over the last 15 years and I am delighted that we have agreed new terms that provides clarity and certainty for Leinster Rugby supporters and for the club for the years ahead.
“It’s a hugely exciting time, on and off the pitch, and I am confident that in early 2023, we will be able to provide a further update, together with the RDS, on the next stage of our plans for the RDS Arena.
“Today is about securing the future, first and foremost, and I am very grateful to Geraldine Ruane, and the RDS Executive, for their help in getting this finalised.”
Speaking about the new partnership RDS CEO, Geraldine Ruane said: “Our relationship with Leinster Rugby really is a true partnership which has grown from strength to strength over the last 15 years and it is great that today we are announcing a further deepening of our partnership for the next 25 years.
“Leinster Rugby fans have truly embraced the RDS as their home and we are always looking at ways to enhance the fans’ experience and the new fan zone, The Laighin Den, is another great example of our partnership.
“I would like to thank Mick Dawson, and all the team in Leinster Rugby who have helped to make this agreement happen and I would also like to wish Mick all the very best in his retirement as CEO of Leinster Rugby. He leaves with an outstanding legacy.”
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