Local Independent Councillor Michael O’Brien has called on Westmeath County Council to earmark a site in the upcoming County Development plan for the development of a 10,000 seat indoor concert arena in the Athlone area.
“Around 18 years ago plans to build an 8,000 seat indoor concert arena in Athlone were refused planning permission. I couldn’t believe it had been refused at the time. We should be encouraging such developments,” said Cllr O’Brien. “I think the development of such a concert arena would be a massive boost to Athlone, surrounding areas, and the midlands. Athlone’s location along the Dublin to Galway motorway in the centre of Ireland is perfect, and this is the type of ambitious project that Athlone as the new growth centre for the midlands should be striving towards.”
Cllr O’Brien said he believes the midlands can replicate the success of the 3 Arena, if we build a similar arena in Athlone.
“I think that many people around the country would rather travel to Athlone instead of a congested and expensive Dublin to see their favourite artist play in concert,” said Cllr O’Brien. “The benefit for the local economy would be massive. The building jobs at the development stage, the jobs at the arena and the thousands of jobs that would be created and sustained as a result in the demand for local goods and services. It would also be very positive in terms of branding Athlone, with Athlone being attached to all national and internal marketing of concerts.”