Ireland and South Africa have a rugby rivalry dating back to 1906, and until recently South Africa has dominated the meetings with the Irish only winning three times in 100 years. Luckily for Ireland, they have won the two most recent matches and they were both at home. Hopes are high in Ireland that victory will be theirs again as they face-off with South Africa at Croke Park Stadium November 28, 2009.
Croke Park is the largest stadium in Ireland, holding 82,300 fans. It is located in the heart of Dublin, just a 15-minute walk from the main thoroughfare of O’Connell Street. Croker, as it’s called, is also the fourth largest Stadium in Europe making it a favorite stop for big touring rock bands like U2, Tina Turner, and Bon Jovi. In May 2008, an environmentally friendly program was launched that aimed at making the stadium carbon-neutral that focuses on electricity, waste and water management.
Where To Stay
There are several hotels within walking distance to meet all travel budgets. Located opposite the stadium is the four-star Jurys Corke Park Hotel, a contemporary 232-room hotel with complimentary parking. Rooms are air-conditioned with satellite TV and high-speed internet connections. Jurys Croke is also close to the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Hugh Lane Gallery, and the airport. Less than a mile away is Ireland’s oldest hotel, the Gresham Hotel. Since 1817 visitors to Dublin have enjoyed the luxurious rooms, afternoon tea, and hearty meals. The Gresham offers old world charm with modern amenities like WiFi, interactive TV, and room service.
Half a mile from the stadium is Glen Guesthouse, a luxurious family-run hotel that is very affordable. Start your day in the sunny dining room with a complimentary Irish breakfast. The friendly staff at the Glen Guesthouse will be happy to tell you how to enjoy the sites by foot, car, or double-decker bus. The Lynams Hotel is another 3 star within walking distance of Croker. Located on O’Connell Street, this boutique hotel is housed in two Georgian Townhouses facing the Dublin Spire. It maintains its warm Georgian ambiance while offering travelers modern amenities, with breakfast served until noon.
How To Get There
Croker is located in central Dublin, in the middle of a residential area so parking is limited and priority given to residents. Fans are encouraged to use public transportation- bus, rail, DART, and LUAS all bring you less than a 15 minutes walk from the stadium. DART, LUAS, and buses provide service from around Dublin, LUAS runs additional services to facilitate Croke events. If you are driving to Dublin, it is best to park and take one of these public transportation options to get closer to the stadium. There is also rail service from all over Ireland to get to Dublin, with extra local service on game days.