Standing 17 stories above the ground on an outdoor platform is not for everyone. Climbing up over 90 steps to the top of Croke Park Stadium you will see the city of Dublin with 360° unobstructed views. The third largest stadium in Europe contains a pitch that is almost double the size of an American soccer (or European football) field. The stadium is approximately 473 feet long and 282 feet wide and holds 82,300 people. The National Stadium contains four dressing rooms and does not accommodate any professional games. It is home to the Gaelic Games Association (GAA).
During the 1.5 hours long tour around the top of Croke Park, you will get 360° views of the city of Dublin. After climbing to the top you will learn about some of Dublin’s mysterious history and legends. Stopping on five platforms you will hear stories including the famous piece of mural given to Ireland in 1969 from the US worth 4 million Euro and it now lies somewhere in a dump. Learn about some of Dublin’s ‘monumental failures’ along with some of the ‘local’ names of these monuments. They include the 2007 water tower which has never worked and the “Monumental Lights” that were finished three years too late and stopped working twice that year. You will also learn about the five things it takes to be a hero and the story behind the saying ‘chance your arm’.
The pitch is real grass that was introduced in 2002 and has four groundsmen maintaining it on a daily basis. The ideal temperature for the grass to grow is between 8°C and 10°C. Therefore, in the winter months, the pitch is surrounded by large lights for the ground to maintain this temperature.
The amazon sign is the size of a single professional tennis court.
Several Irish men founded the GAA in 1884. The purpose of the association was to preserve and encourage Ireland’s athletic games. The primary focus is the Gaelic Games; however, they also promote Irish culture. Hurling is the most popular game followed by Gaelic football. Also included in the games are camogie, handball, and rounders. The games are played around the world with over 500,000 GAA members.
For information on all tours, times, and tickets go to the Croke Park website.