Ravenhill Stadium
Ravenhill Stadium is located in Belfast
Belfast is the capital of and largest city in Northern Ireland. By population, it is the 14th biggest city in the United Kingdom and second biggest on the island of Ireland . It is the seat of the devolved government and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly...

, Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

. It is used by Ulster Rugby
Ulster Rugby
Ulster Rugby, usually referred to simply as Ulster, is an Irish professional rugby union team based in Belfast, representing the Irish province of Ulster, that competes in the RaboDirect Pro12 and also competes in the Heineken Cup...

. It has a normal capacity of 12,300 and is owned by the Irish Rugby Football Union
Irish Rugby Football Union
The Irish Rugby Football Union is the body managing rugby union in Ireland. The IRFU has its head office at 10/12 Lansdowne Road and home ground at Aviva Stadium, where Irish rugby union international matches are played...



The grounds were opened in the 1923/24 season. The ground features an ornate arch at the entrance that was erected as a war memorial for those players killed in World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 and World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...


Ravenhill has hosted 18 international matches, including a pool game in both the 1991 and 1999 Rugby World Cups, which are at the bottom of the page. It was also the scene of Ulster's magnificent performance in the 1999 European Cup semi final when Ulster defeated Stade Francais. The most memorable moment in that game was early in the 2nd half when the captain and one of Ireland's best out halfs of the modern era David Humphrys ran from the Ulster 10 meter line to score a try and ruin the spirit of the opposition.
The most recent Ireland
Ireland national rugby union team
The Ireland national rugby union team represents the island of Ireland in rugby union. The team competes annually in the Six Nations Championship and every four years in the Rugby World Cup, where they reached the quarter-final stage in all but two competitions The Ireland national rugby union...

 international to be played at the stadium was on 24 August 2007 against Italy as a World Cup warm-up match. Before that Scotland was the last visitor in the 1954 Five Nations Championship. Lansdowne Road
Lansdowne Road
Lansdowne Road was a stadium in Dublin owned by the Irish Rugby Football Union that has been the location of a number of sports stadiums. It was used primarily for rugby union and for association football matches as well as some music concerts...

, now known as the Aviva Stadium
Aviva Stadium
The Aviva Stadium is a sports stadium located in Dublin, Ireland, with a capacity for 50,000 spectators. The stadium is built on the site of the old Lansdowne Road venue, which was demolished in 2007, and replaces that stadium as home to its chief tenants: the Irish rugby union team and the...

 is the main venue for Ireland's international games.

Since 1924 the stadium has been the annual venue for the Ulster Schools Cup
Ulster Schools Cup
The Ulster Schools' Challenge Cup is an annual competition involving schools affiliated to the Ulster Branch of the Irish Rugby Football Union. The Schools' Cup has the distinction of being the world's second-oldest rugby competition, having been competed for every year since 1876...

 final which is traditionally contested on St Patrick's Day. The stadium is traditionally the venue for the Ulster Towns Cup
Ulster Towns Cup
The Ulster Towns Cup is a rugby union competition organized by the Ulster branch of the Irish Rugby Football Union.It is confined to teams outside of Belfast...

 played on Easter Monday
Easter Monday
Easter Monday is the day after Easter Sunday and is celebrated as a holiday in some largely Christian cultures, especially Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox cultures...


Ravenhill also hosted the 2007 Under 19 Rugby World Championship
2007 Under 19 Rugby World Championship
The International Rugby Board awarded the 2007 Under 19 Rugby World Championship to the Irish Rugby Football Union and the Ulster branch hosted it. The Tournament, which took place in Belfast, Northern Ireland from 4-21 April, was split into two divisions of twelve teams...

 Final in which New Zealand defeated South Africa and numerous other pool and semi-final matches.


The new stand at Ravenhill was officially opened on 9 October 2009 by First Minister Peter Robinson, before a match between Ulster and Bath Rugby
Bath Rugby
Bath Rugby is an English professional rugby union club that is based in the city of Bath. They play in the Aviva Premiership league...

. The stand has however been in use since the first home match of the 2009-2010 season, against Edinburgh Rugby.

The stand is on the Mount Merrion side of the ground, and consists of a terraced area, over 500 premium seats, and 20 corporate boxes. Premium seats were delivered by Polish brand Forum Seating belonging to Nowy Styl Group. The terrace area is now covered by a roof for the first time in the ground's history. The cost of the project is approximately £4.5 million, and has been funded by a mixture of public-sector funding, sales of premium tickets and boxes, and loans from the IRFU.

There are plans in place for further work. Planning permission has been granted for some of this work, but funding is not confirmed (as of Sep 2009). Many locals have concerns about environmental issues and further development having been previously advised work was then finished.

In 2011, the Northern Ireland Executive
Northern Ireland Executive
The Northern Ireland Executive is the executive arm of the Northern Ireland Assembly, the devolved legislature for Northern Ireland. It is answerable to the Assembly and was established according to the terms of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, which followed the Good Friday Agreement...

 announced that a total of £138m would be made available for stadium redevelopment projects throughout Northern Ireland. Of this, £15m would be allocated for the further redevelopment of Ravenhill, with three new stands intended to be built.

World Cup Matches hosted



External links

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