The Semple Stadium is the second largest GAA stadium in Ireland. It is located in Thurles, County Tipperary, E41 C956, Ireland and has a capacity of 53,000, of which 26,000 are seated. It is owned by Tipperary GAA and it has a field size of 145 by 90 meters. This stadium is the home of hurling and Gaelic football.
The sports hall called “The Dome” contains full-sized basketball court and it is also used for badminton, volleyball, and indoor soccer. On match days, it is used to accommodate GAA and sponsor guests for corporate lunches and functions.
Thurles Sports Field was the site on which Semple Stadium is built. In 1910, Thurles Sports Field was on sale at the wish of Canon M.K. Ryan and was purchased by local Gaelic games enthusiasts for £900.The ground was purchased on shares provided by Townspeople and remained in the hands of the shareholders until 1956.Later they were transferred to the Gaelic Athletic Association.
It was opened in the year 1910 and was renovated in the year 1981 and 2009.
In 1968 further developments took place when the Dr. Kinane Stand was completed and opened. In 1971 the stadium was named after Tom Semple, famed captain of the Thurles who won All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship medals in 1900, 1906 and 1908.
Tipperary County Board announced a €18 million redevelopment plan for the Stadium aimed to boost capacity to over 55,000, as well as providing facilities such as corporate space concessions, dining and changing areas within both main stands.
On Feb. 14th, 2009, G.A.A. President Nickey Brennan officially reopened Semple Stadium and the switching on of the new floodlights took place as a sign of Centenary Celebrations of the stadium and in the same year, David Morgan was appointed as the first Director of Semple Stadium.
The stadium was installed with Hawk-Eye in the year 2016 and was used for the first time during the Munster Championship quarter-final.
Major Matches and other events
Since 1926, Semple stadium has hosted Munster Hurling Final on many memorable occasions.
On 4th May 2014, Allianz Division 1 hurling league final was played between Tipperary and Kilkenny. It has hosted Hurling League final with All-Ireland U-21 decider set for Tullamore.
On 24th September 2017, Thurles Sarsfields won the semi-final over Eire Og Annacarty by hitting 0-27 and entered the Tipperary Senior Hurling final. On 19th November 2017, Na Piarsaigh lifted their fourth senior crown by defeating Ballygunner in this stadium.