John Cantwell, pictured left, has been appointed as the Stadium Director for the redeveloped Thomond Park, now officially titled the ‘New Limerick Rugby Stadium’ in PR speak.

This new role will see Mr Cantwell responsible for developing the strategic plan for the stadium, along with directing all operational issues for matches and stadium events. 

He joins Munster Rugby from Mahon Point Shopping Centre in Cork where he served as General Manager since 2004. 

“We are delighted to attract someone with John’s experience in developing and managing new facilities,” said Munster CEO Garret Fitzgerald.

“His success in managing the €300million Mahon Point development in Cork demonstrates his facility management expertise in addition to a proven operations track record in busy visitor environments.  We will also benefit from John’s experience in dealing with the conversion of new build facilities into thriving customer and service focused centres.”

And what does the new appointee make of his new role?

“It is a great opportunity to develop the stadium into a multi purpose facility beyond just match day events,” he said.

“The opportunities that exist to develop the stadium commercially are just one aspect of the role where my previous experience will be very useful.

“The completed stadium has the potential to make a significant commercial contribution to the future of Munster Rugby and also to Limerick city business in terms of economic spin offs from stadium events.”

The €40 million development of Thomond Park is due to be completed by September next, bringing the capacity of the ground up to 26,000. 

The new facilities will include two suites with seating capacities of 500 and 200 respectively, 20 new corporate boxes as well as extensive catering and hospitality facilities throughout the ground. 

The work at the ground is proceeding ahead of schedule and fans got a taste of what lies ahead when the ground hosted the recent Munster/Clermont Auvergne Heineken Cup fixture.