Makeover for Hub of Irish Sports

The southern part of Gaelic Park, located in the Bronx at West 240th Street, will get a $3.2 million makeover, reports The Riverdale Press‘ Adam Wisnieski. The remodeling looks to rejuvenate the hub of Irish sports in New York.

The Gaelic Park venue at West 240th Street and Corlear Avenue. (Photo by Marisol Diaz/The Riverdale Press)

Just in time for Irish football season, the MTA has approved the Gaelic Athletic Association of Greater New York’s plan to knock down the existing building at Gaelic Park and construct a banquet hall and bar.

Gaelic Park Restaurant and Catering LLC — a new group formed by the athletic association and restaurateurs Paul and Gieto Nicaj — plans to demolish the dilapidated building at the southern end of Gaelic Park to build a new facility that will finally make a permanent home for the New York GAA.

The MTA, which leases the field to Manhattan College and the building next door to the New York GAA, put out an RFP for a 10-year lease that included a requirement to repair the old building or demolish it to make way for a new one. Gaelic Park Restaurant and Catering LLC was the sole applicant. The MTA approved the 10-year lease at its board meeting on March 13.

After its construction in 1928, the park’s stadium has seen decades of Irish football players and hurlers play on its field. The banquet hall, which sits at the southern end of the field, has welcomed generations of Irish immigrants and Irish-Americans.

Political rallies, weddings, meetings and dances have all been hosted in the hall. Back in the day, it was known as one of the best places for an Irish immigrant to find a job.

The reconstruction will receive financial assistance from Ireland.

Now, Ireland’s GAA plans to fund the construction of this new facility through a grant. According to the lease agreement with the MTA, the GAA is investing the money to help retain “the historic home of Gaelic sport in New York.”

Irish Echo adds: “Gaelic Park dates to 1928, the same year that the Irish Echo was first published.”

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