Europa Conference League: Irish FA bids to host final at Windsor Park

The Irish FA has bid to stage the 2023 Uefa Europa Conference League final at Windsor Park in Belfast.

The stadium, which holds 18,614 spectators, successfully hosted the Uefa Super Cup decider between winners Chelsea and Villareal last year.

Belfast City Council provided £200,000 for the Super Cup final and is considering possible funding for next year’s event if the bid is successful.

However, it stated that it is “not in the medium term financial planning”.

"We can confirm that we have bid to host the final of the UEFA Conference League as part of our wider strategy of bringing major events and matches to the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park."

IFA spokesperson.

The council agreed to a Uefa request to sign a “host city undertaking” letter although a report on the financial implications would only be returned following a successful bid.

The IFA’s bid came before a recent Strategic Policy and Resources Committee meeting and the financial success of the Super Cup was outlined with “a total economic impact of over £4 million”.

The council added that “2023 is a year of significant major event activity” and “these existing commitments have been considered within the division’s resource planning, which did not include provision for this event (UEFA Conference League).”

The first final of the new Europa Conference League will take place in Albania’s capital Tirana next month.

“It is at an early stage, but we have to welcome this opportunity, and any opportunity to put Belfast on the map internationally as a positive host city for big events.,” DUP Alderman Brian Kingston told the council committee.

Original article published 05.04.2022 on The BBC Sport website.

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