The James Connolly Stadium is a football stadium in Beningrad, Sorthern Northland. It is named in memory of the Irish freedom fighter and socialist wikipedia:James Connolly. A statue of him stands outside the stadium.
The stadium is owned by the Football Association of Sorthern Northland (FASN) and is regularly used as the home ground of the Sorthern Northland national football team as well as for cup finals of FASN run competitions. Until recently the national team played all home matches at the stadium (apart from a short period when the stadium was being rebuilt), however the FASN announced prior to the start of World Cup 39 qualifying that they intend to play home games around the country in a bid to allow more people to see their national team. The team will still play at the James Connolly Stadium more often than not thought.
Just a week before the start of World Cup 38 qualifying, the area around Beningrad was hit by a series of freak weather events that included storms bringing heavy rains as well as tsunamis. The events caused enough flooding in the region to make some fifty-million people homeless and parts of Beningrad underwater for some weeks. The stadium was one such place affected by the floods and soon after the FASN released the following statement;
"Following the recent storms and flooding in Beningrad the James Connolly Stadium has been left in an unplayable condition and at this moment is still under water. We anticipate that there will be significant damage done to the stadium once the floods have receded. This means that the stadium will remain in an unplayable state for a lengthy amount of time, but we hope that it will be reopened before the end of World Cup qualifying. In the meantime all national team and cup final games will be played at El Estadio Fidel Castro in Castrograd."
The damage was indeed extensive and once the flood waters had receded it was decided that it would be cheaper to build a new stronger stadium. Doubts were cast about the FASN's hopes of getting the stadium reopen by the end of qualifying, but the amazingly the stadium was rebuilt and reopened in time for the final game of qualification, against Oliverry. The game finished in a one all draw.
The original stadium had a love hate relationship with players and fans alike. Built in the month's following Sorthern Northland's independence, it wasn't much to look at from the outside but inside it posed an intimidating atmosphere for visiting players with fifty-thousand Sortherners packed into the terraces. Another problem was the fact that only one stand had a roof, not the most ideal situation in a city that gets it's fair share of rain. The three uncovered stands had no seats in them and held around forty thousand whilst the covered stand has seating for ten thousand people.
The stadium prior to the floods.
Once the flood waters had receded and it was decided that a new stadium should be built, the FASN and the Government promised "A stadium that truly represents our glorious nation." The rebuilding of it took nearly two years and the result of it is a modern, safe and atmospheric national stadium. On top of rebuilding the stadium the FASN decided to add another one hundred thousand to the capacity meaning the stadium can now hold up to one and fifty thousand fans. Following a hugely supported Sorthern Northland Football Supporters Group campaign it was decided that two of the stands would be for standing whilst the two end stands are filled with fifty thousand seats. The new stadium has yet to receive a single negative review with many echoing the sentiments of President Ben O'Bagels who said "it is an architectural achievement of great proportions."
The rebuilt stadium