Pearse Stadium and Tuam Stadium are the two main footballing stadiums in Galway. For some time now a debate has been raging weather Galway should play their home games in Salthill or Tuam. The more logical reason to look upon is the fact that Pearse Stadium is newly built and should be used to maximum effect. That is true but did we really need a stadium of such scale in the first place, the answer for me is, no. For course Pearse Stadium on a summer’s day when there is a full house is something special, but we need to think of how many times we have seen this in the past 6-7 years. Only on 4 occasions at the most has there ever been a full house there, and that was for two Connacht Finals, a Connacht Preliminary and a national league semi final. It is a clear sign that this stadium was never needed, well if it was to be built it should have been built in an area that could host a neutral match in the Championship, Salthill is never an appealing venue for such an event because of its geographical location.
On the other hand people look at Tuam Stadium, a stadium which at the current time is being redeveloped. Tuam hosted Galway’s senior football matches from the early 90’s to 2002. It was the ideal venue for those matches, it was a crowd puller, it was located well in Galway. Many north board members regard it as the true home of Galway football, the midpoint if you may for all the fans to meet (and easier for away fans to get to) . Now Tuam Stadium is being redeveloped at this current time with a new stand going to be put in place, but what dose that mean for the future of Pearse Stadium for Championship matches?. Dose it mean that Tuam will get its fair share of Championship action once again?. In my opinion the County Board have gone about this all wrong, why must they build a stadium of such magnitude in Salthill when they knew it would not get Championship exposure that often, okay it is serving the West board but did it really have to be so big?. A nice tidy little stadium with a capacity of 6-10,000 would have been the right way to go about things and then redevelop Tuam Stadium fully so that then it would get more people through the gates on a Championship day and it would in my mind host more neutral matches but with Galways geographical location, the amount of Neutral matches would be limited anyway.
We see the county final this year in Tuam Stadium mainly because it was two North Board teams taking part, it was the common sensible thing to do and if it had been brought into Pearse Stadium it would be almost like a graveyard which we have been from county finals in the past between two North board outfits. Im not having a go at the people who have made Pearse Stadium what it is today, it’s a fine sporting venue, something the people of Galway can be proud of, but in terms of big matches being played there, it is severely under-used.