Anyone who lives in Ireland will be familiar with Croke Park in Dublin. First opened in 1884, it holds around 82,000 people and is well-known as the principal national sports stadium in Ireland. It is also closely associated with Gaelic games. It hosts All-Ireland events in both Gaelic football and hurling – plus other events in non-Gaelic sports at times.

One such time this occurred was when Croke Park hosted the Irish football team home games in the late 2000s. This saw lots of football fans not only flock to the stadium but also place bets on matches via the latest online sportsbooks while there. Although you might think this is not overly popular, wagering on games is an activity many football supporters in Ireland love to take part in. This can include international games or even football betting on the English Premier League.

Despite its close links to sport, this venue has a much wider importance to the Irish hospitality sector. But why is this?

Why is Croke Park more than just a sport stadium?

For those who work in hospitality, the interesting thing about Croke Park is how it is more than just a place to watch sports. This is worth noting because it can give you ideas on new business areas to branch out into within hospitality and new partnerships to pursue.

As with many stadiums like this, people can buy food and drink once inside Croke Park. This gives the businesses who supply this food and drink a massive opportunity to reach more people. By forging links with a stadium like this, those in hospitality can drive up sales and increase brand visibility. Some stadiums may also allow those in hospitality to actually operate inside and sell their goods directly to people there.

What else does Croke Park focus on?

There is no doubt that Croke Park has also diversified to put on other events and open its facilities to other industries. As well as attending events such as the 2022 Hospitality Expo in Dublin, this is a great lesson for business within hospitality to drive growth. It is also key for the sector to note because it demonstrates that diversifying what you offer can bring great rewards.

But what sort of thing does this stadium get involved with outside of sport? One of the biggest areas it has moved into is putting on music concerts from popular bands and solo artists. In recent years, this has seen masses of music lovers descend on the stadium to watch Westlife, Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift and The Rolling Stones, among others.

In addition, Croke Park also offers a skyline attraction tour. This allows you to enjoy the best view of Dublin as you are safely hoisted 44 metres above the ground. It also gives a stunning view of the surrounding area.

Cultural heart of Dublin

For many people, Croke Park is much more than a venue for Irish sport. It represents a place which is central to preserving Irish culture and crucial for the protection of Irish heritage.

It also holds a place in people’s hearts though for the special events it hosts. This makes it a top hospitality venue in Dublin and one that shows the best of the sector in Ireland. For example, the Festival of Families in 2018 included Pope Francis blessing the 72,000 people in attendance with his presence. In addition, this celebration of Irish heritage also included performances from Riverdance and Andrea Bocelli.

Before this, the stadium was the location for 2012’s International Eucharistic Congress. This global event takes place every four years and focuses on liturgical and cultural issues. Attendees enjoyed several lectures and workshops which ended in the huge ‘Statio Orbis’ closing ceremony.

Examples like this illustrate that Croke Park is not just important for culture in Ireland but also for bringing global revenue into Irish hospitality. In addition, it shows other stadiums around the country which hospitality areas they could branch out into.

Croke Park – more than just a sport stadium

When you take the above into account, it is clear that Croke Park is as much about hospitality and world-class facilities as it is about sport. This is even truer when you consider that it has 100 meeting rooms and eight suites that businesses can hire out to use.

Whether it is a small board meeting or a larger team get-together, the professional facilities here indicate that this stadium is about much more than just sport. It is also a world-class venue for hospitality in Ireland, and one that plays a key role in the sector around Dublin.

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