Political Maze | Siting Northern Ireland’s national stadium

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Belfast, Northern Ireland | A survey concludes that Northern Ireland supporters prefer a national sports stadium in central Belfast rather than at the proposed Maze prison site outside town. An alphabet soup of government bodies, however, has cited police concerns about locating an £85 million venue within Belfast, where it could attract swarms of Gaelic Games attendees during loyalist marching season in July and August. Some government ministers have also insisted on the Maze site, believing that “a 42,000-capacity stadium will become not only a home for Ulster rugby, soccer and Gaelic sports but will be a major rock and pop venue for the whole of Ireland.”

About the Author

John Turnbull founded The Global Game in 2003. He was lead editor for The Global Game: Writers on Soccer (University of Nebraska Press, 2008) and has also written on soccer for Afriche e Orienti (Bologna, Italy), the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the New York Times Goal blog, Soccer and Society, So Foot (Paris) and When Saturday Comes. His essay "Alone in the Woods: The Literary Landscape of Soccer's 'Last Defender' " in World Literature Today was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Also for World Literature Today he edited a special section on women's soccer, "World Cup/World Lit 2011," before the Women's World Cup in Germany. The section appeared in the May-June issue. His next project is a book on soccer and faith.

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