Monday, August 9, 2010

Return to the Southside: Aviva Aviva Ándale Ándale!*

The brand spanking new Aviva Stadium (Lansdowne Rd. to the traditionalists out there) opened it’s doors for the first time last Saturday week. With a space age structure forming what will now surely be seen as one of Europe’s finest stadiums (the less said about the miniscule North Stand the better), the spiritual home of Irish rugby and soccer is back! Along with this, a 50,000 capacity stadium is sure to bring it’s fair share of hungry people to the area, and more about that later.
First of all a closer look at the raw data behind the stadium, which is set to hold its first competitive fixture on Wednesday night (Airtricity X1 1 Man Utd 7  is not competitive!), with our boys in green hosting Leo Messi’s Argentina. In engineering terms, the project was a massive feat, with the area occupied nearing 64,000 sq m, and a need for a low North Stand, to preserve sunlight into the adjoining houses. 5,000 tonnes of structural steel was used in construction, with 4,000,000 man hours involved!
As per the Aviva site, enhanced press facilities mean space for up to 200 journalists (increasing to 400 for certain events). There are 10,000 seats at premium level and a further 1,300 at box level many of which have already been sold for years in advance, while it is estimated that 70,000 pints of stout and lager, 3,000 hot whiskeys, 2,000 portions of fish and chips, 4,000 speciality ‘Aviva’ gourmet burgers and 5,000 hot beef sandwiches will be served on any given matchday (of course the hot whiskey sales will go up dramatically on a cold 6 Nations rugby weekend!).  This will be supplemented by 900 catering staff, and 48 chefs (who presumably will be worked off their feet!)
Impressive eh? Plus with both the soccer and rugby boys enjoying a period of good success, the stadium will be full on many occasions in the coming years.
But with the hiatus to Croker, have you forgotten where to eat in the area? Ireland’s best lunch deals site can help here! We’ve got lots of options to feed hungry match goers.
The aptly named Lansdowne Hotel on Pembroke Road offers a daily chef’s special which today for example  is Lasagne for €7.00, as well as a full selection of delicious paninis and wraps from €5.50, and a full lunch menu.
The traditional watering route from the city centre, down Baggot St., has a number of options. The Baggot Inn (Homemade Baggot Burger €10.00), The 51 on Haddington Road (Chicken Curry €9.90) and Millers  (Oaked Irish Smoked Salmon €7.50) are all great options for great value lunch in Dublin.
Maia  on Shelbourne Road (Pasta of the Day + Glass of Wine €12) and Ocean Bar  on Grand Canal Dock (Chefs Daily Pasta €9.50) are also great lunch options in the area, while for an Asian inspired meal, try Kanum, where you can avail of free prawn crackers when you mention
So now you are armed with all the information on both the stadium and surrounding lunch deals, all that’s needed is Brian O Driscoll scoring a few tries or Robbie Keane netting a cracker from 25 yards to cap off a great day!
Of course these lunch specials are available throughout the week also, and many are updated daily on
*So who got the Speedy Gonzales reference in the title then?!


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