Croke Park is the principal stadium of Dublin, the host of the Gaelic games in Ireland and the home of the Gaelic Athletic Association headquarters. It is the third biggest stadium in Europe, with a capacity of 82,300 spectators, and in addition to sports matches, it hosts concerts and events. The stadium plays a significant role in the preservation and celebration of native Irish sport and the traditions and customs they uphold.
Visitors to Croke Park can explore during a Stadium Tour, Etihad Skyline Tour or by seeing the GAA Museum, all of which give information about the history and cultural significance of the stadium. It is a popular venue for concerts and, in the past, has hosted various successful artists including Beyoncé, Coldplay and U2. However, the best way to experience Croke Park is by watching a Gaelic football or hurling match as the stadium was designed for these big and exciting games unique to Ireland. It has been the venue for many important international events, like the 2003 Special Olympic ceremonies, and it hosted Pope Benedict in 2012 during the 50th International Eucharistic Congress.
There are 600 car parking spaces at Croke Park, perfect for drivers accessing the stadium via the M50 motorway, but officials advise visitors to use public transport or one of the park and ride systems of Dublin. Many bus route routes serve the stadium from all over the city, and the walk from the central rail stations takes only 5 minutes. Alternatively, GAA fans can book a private coach to take groups of fans to Croke Park from nationwide.
Croke Park has been a site used to host Gaelic sport since 1884, although it became an official feature of the GAA in 1913. The stadium became of potent symbol of Irish national sport and gained more attention following an extensive redevelopment of the 1990s, which made it one of the largest in Europe. Croke Park was a victim of the Bloody Sunday massacres when police killed 14 people in its grounds including one of the football players, Michael Hogan.