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RDS Arena: Wikis


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RDS Arena
Full name Royal Dublin Society Arena
Location Ballsbridge
Opened 1868
Renovated 2007 & 2008
Expanded 2007
Owner Royal Dublin Society
Surface Grass
Capacity 18,500
Record attendance 20,000
Leinster Rugby (Magners League)

RDS Arena is owned by the Royal Dublin Society and is located in the Dublin suburb of Ballsbridge, Ireland.

The arena was originally developed to host equestrian events, including the annual Dublin Horse Show, which was first held there in 1868. The site was acquired in 1879 by the RDS. The primary tenants of the RDS are Leinster Rugby who compete in the Magners League and Heineken Cup. The Arena has also hosted football, tennis and wrestling events as well as concerts.


Sporting Events

Association Football

The Stadium first hosted a football game on the 30th of September 1990 when Shamrock Rovers used it as a home ground. For the next six seasons until April 1996 Rovers played their home games there [1]. The Stadium held its first international match on 19 February 1992 when it played host to a home game between Ireland and Wales national football team. The Stadium also held the 1994 UEFA European Under-16 Football Championships as well as the Final, the 2007 & 2008 FAI Cup finals, as the new Aviva Stadium was under construction, but the 2009 final was moved to Tallaght Stadium. The RDS hosted a game between St. Patrick's Athletic and Hertha Berlin in the 2008–09 UEFA Cup First round.[1] St. Pat's also played Steaua Bucureşti in the Arena on 27 August 2009 in the shoot-off round of the opening season of the Europa League.

The RDS Arena will host the Ireland team when they will play Paraguay and Algeria in May 2010 [2].

Horse Riding

The Arena was originally constructed to host Horse-Riding events, the Dublin Horse Show has been held at the RDS annually since 1868.The RDS also hosted the Show Jumping World Championships in 1982

Rugby Union

The stadium first opened its doors to rugby union on Saturday 15 October 2005, hosting a game between Leinster Rugby and the Cardiff Blues, which Leinster won 34 - 15, the arena hosted 4 further games that season.The following season, the RDS was not used by Leinster rugby as the RDS arena was being renovated.

The 2007 / 2008 season saw the RDS become the official home of Leinster rugby when the branch signed a 20 year lease on the ground, with all of the home games for the season to be hosted there. This change came about after it became apparent that the team's former home of Donnybrook Stadium no longer had a sufficient capacity. After renovation and expansion, the Grandstand and North and South Stands were expanded, boosting the capacity to 18,500 along with floodlights being installed and a new playing surface being laid, to withstand the demands of a full rugby season and show jumping events.

The RDS had proven to be a very successful hunting ground for Leinster, as they won 11 of their 12 home games that season, culminating on Saturday 3 May 2008 in a 41 - 8 victory over the Newport Gwent Dragons and lifting the Magners League trophy that day. In all, Leinster had played 18 games in the RDS, losing only twice, to Bath and Llanelli Scarlets.

For the beginning of the 2008 / 2009 season, a roof had been erected above the Grandstand section of the ground, and Leinster hosted their defence of the Magners League trophy and the European Heineken Cup campaign, which saw Leinster defeat English champions London Wasps, Castres of France and Edinburgh, before marching on to become champions of Europe for the first time, with a 19 - 16 victory over Leicester Tigers in Edinburgh on 23 May 2009.

In March 2009, the final of the Leinster Schools Senior Cup was played in the RDS due to the redevelopment of Lansdowne Road, its traditional venue.

The RDS hosted the autumn rugby international between Ireland and Fiji on 21 November 2009.[2]. Ireland were convincing winners on the day.


In 1983, the Ireland team played in the World Group of the Davis Cup for the only time. The match against a United States team including John McEnroe was played in the RDS rather than the usual venue, Fitzwilliam, to accommodate crowds of 6,000 each day.[3]


The Arena hosted a WWE event which featured Kurt Angle, Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, John Cena and Stone Cold Steve Austin.


Popular acts such as Boyzone, McFly, Fall Out Boy, Shania Twain, Avril Lavigne, Michael Jackson, Dolly Parton, Shirley Bassey, Gwen Stefani, Rod Stewart, Tina Turner, Britney Spears, George Michael, Justin Timberlake, Kanye West, and Rihanna have all played the RDS Arena. Bruce Springsteen has played there six times since 1988, including during "The Rising Tour" in 2003, May 2008 as part of the "Magic Tour",[4] and returned in July 2009 as part of the forthcoming "Working on a Dream Tour".[5]

P!nk is to bring her Funhouse Summer Carnival Tour to the RDS on 19 June 2010 following her Funhouse Tour for which she sold over 96,000 tickets in Ireland alone. Paul McCartney is to perform on June 12th 2010.


Coordinates: 53°19′32″N 6°13′46″W / 53.32556°N 6.22944°W / 53.32556; -6.22944

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