A new railway halt proposed to serve the Blanchflower Stadium on the Belfast to Bangor line could also revolutionise transport links to George Best Belfast City Airport.
The developer of the proposed 93-acre project has put forward plans to build a covered walkway over the Sydenham bypass, linking the airport to the stadium and creating a new railway halt on the Bangor line.
Four thousand car parking spaces are also proposed and it is understood the stadium will be |accessed by a new road link to the bypass.
This would make use of the |underpass constructed under the dual carriageway some years ago to allow traffic to leave the airport without having to cut across the main bypass.
The Danny Blanchflower parks project in east Belfast today appeared to have nudged ahead in the race to become the new national stadium of Northern Ireland, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal.
The Tillysburn site seems to be gaining ground on its competitors despite the recommendation of an official report which has favoured Ormeau Park for the site of the multi-million pound multi-sports ground.
But the consultants who named Ormeau as their first preference gave the Blanchflower proposal their second preference and its supporters have now been asked to come up with a full business plan.
The report commissioned by Belfast City Council is said to have cost in the region of around £150,000.
The Blanchflower stadium — now known as the ‘Parks’ proposal because it also combines the Blanchflower site with the former Lord Mayor Tommy Patton park as well as ground at Shorts — could also be given its own railway halt.
An ambitious plan to build a new 25,000 seater football and rugby stadium in the heart of east Belfast was revealed today.
An urban alternative to the ill-fated Maze national stadium, the £128m Blanchflower stadium development would be sited at Sydenham, close to major road, rail, ferry and air links.
The £66m stadium would be home to the Northern Ireland football team and Ulster Rugby’s major European games, hosting top local showpiece football fixtures such as the Irish Cup final.
The Ulster Rugby squad would report every day at a £10m National Training Centre, although Ravenhill in south Belfast would remain the traditional home of rugby.
The plans also include a 150-bedroom hotel, as part of the stadium design, modelled on similar projects in England at the Bolton, Coventry and Milton Keynes Dons grounds.
There will be retail and leisure areas, including an indoor five-a-side football arena, as well as Belfast City Council managed community facilities.
Gaelic Games will not be involved, as they would have been at the Maze, because of the GAA's expressed wish to maintain their Belfast presence at Casement Park in the west of the city.
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