Croke Park, a stadium located in Ireland, which is considered as one of the finest stadiums in Europe. It has a capacity of 82,500, and is the fourth largest stadium in Europe, as well as the largest stadium under the ownership of a amateur sporting organization in the world. Croke Park hosts a number of games throughout the year. It is especially widely used during the summer during the All-Ireland Gaelic Football and Hurling Championships.
Croke Park is located on the ground where originally the Jones Road sports ground was existed! It was inaugurated in the year 1884 for Gaelic Games, and in 1896 the All Ireland Hurling and Football Championships were held there. The sports ground was also used by the GAA, which actually recognized importance of the ground. Frank Dineen, a member of the GAA borrowed £3,250 to purchase the ground in 1908. Then in the year 1913, the ground was purchased from Dineen by the GAA. After that the ground came to known as Croke Park, after the name of Archbishop Thomas Croke, a premier patrons of the GAA.
In the year 1913, Croke Park had two stands. One is where now Hogan Stand stands, and the rest of the ground was surrounded by a grassy bank. And when the Easter Rising, rubble from Dublin City Center was brought to Croke Park and used to build a grassy hill on the railway end of Croke Park, it allowed spectators to view the pitch in a better way. After that it became immortalized as Hill 16, the '16' referring to the 1916 rising. The 'Hill' is the famous viewing platform for the Dublin supporters and today holds 13,000 spectators.
During the 1920s the GAA decided to build a high capacity stadium at Croke Park. In 1936 the double decker Cusack Stand was opened, in 1952 the Nally Stand was opened and in 1959 the new Hogan Stand was opened. The highest ever attendance at Croke park was recorded during the 1961 Senior Football Final between Offaly and Down, with a total of 90,556 spectators. Croke Park has gone a major renovation in 1991.
The project took 14 years to complete, which included premium level vantage points with bars and restaurants. In early 2007, floodlights were added to the stadium. In 2003, the Special Olympics' opening and closing ceremony was held in Croke Park.