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Maze-Long Kesh development ‘viable'

16 April, 2008

Sinn Fein MLA Paul Butler has welcomed remarks from the Minister of Culture Arts and Leisure, Edwin Poots, in the Assembly confirming that a stadium at the Maze/Long Kesh is 'operationally viable'.

Mr. Butler said:

"The minister provided us with facts which make the case for the new stadium to be built at the Maze-Long Kesh site.

"These figures show that spectator attendance from the three sports organizations, GAA, IFA and Ulster Rugby and revenue from games played at the stadium show it is a financially viable project.

"The minister revealed the figures annually are: Gaelic games 150,000, soccer 95,000 and rugby 45,000; the financial return respectively is: £938,000, from Gaelic football, soccer, £821,000 and rugby £464,000. This amounts to over £2 million per year.

"These statistics rubbish the claims by those opposed to the stadium that it is not financially viable.

"Added to this will be the revenue generated from people visiting the preserved prison buildings including the prison hospital where the hunger strikers died.

"Also the plans to use both the stadium and the Centre for Conflict Transformation as anchor tenants for other revenue generating ventures such as hotels and leisure facilities and businesses is further confirmation that the Maze-Long Kesh site has tremendous economic potential." ENDS

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