The home of Munster rugby wasn’t included in the original vote, however an overwhelming cry from the Munster Rugby Supporters Club resulted in us including Thomond Park in the vote. Since then the support the stadium has received has been unreal with Munster fans firing their stadium to the top of the poll with 90% of the 3,216 votes.
Hearing of the vote Thomond Park boss John Cantwell told the Limerick Leader the stadium “absolutely” deserved to be ranked among the world’s best.
“In terms of its redevelopment the venue has retained everything it was meant to and probably even more so in terms of atmosphere and reputation, internationally,” he explained of the stadium, which has hosted both the world’s best rugby teams and top music performers, from Elton John to Bruce Springsteen.
“I think that is fantastic for Limerick, it is included with the world’s top five and it is here in the city. We have it and it is something that we should be proud of and should be using to its fullest.
“Everybody knows that the stadium was developed for a very low budget price, yet that has delivered one of the top stadiums in the world. Part of my job is to be away looking at stadiums – which is a nice part of it – and bench marking Thomond against them. Obviously people would think I am biased, but I would say it is right up there, and I think it is maybe the number one.”
John’s views have been echoed by Munster fans who point to the “complete silence offered to kickers during matches” despite the fans passion being “purely tribal”. One quote that summed up the fans mood came on Twitter claiming that Thomond is “a shrine to the great game”.
Giving the surge in support for the stadium it would be hard to argue with Thomond Park being crowned the best stadium in the world having played host to some truly magical matches, particularly in the Heineken Cup. This account from a 2008 game against the All Blacks may help demonstrate the high esteem the stadium is held in by fans around the world.
Once again congratulations to Thomond Park and Munster Rugby. All the best for this season guys, hopefully we’ll see you over at Thomond Park at some point very soon.