The Republic of Ireland will host a major European club final for the first time on Wednesday 18 May 2011 after the Dublin Arena was selected as the venue for the 2011 UEFA Europa League final by the UEFA Executive Committee.
• The old ground was demolished in summer 2007, with the new 50,000-seat venue to be home to both the Republic of Ireland's football and rugby union teams, and the UEFA Europa League final set to crown a historic first full season for the new arena. The modern stadium will usher in a new era for Lansdowne Road which has been used as a sporting venue since 1876, when the first cinder track was laid for the All-Ireland Athletics Championships.
• It is with rugby union, however, that the old ground is synonymous. In 1876, Lansdowne Road also played host to its first rugby union match between Leinster and Ulster, and the ground soon became home to Irish rugby, with the national side contesting its first international there against England in 1878.
• It was not until the 1980s that the stadium was regularly used for international football, with the highest attendance for a match at the old ground set at 48,500 for a 3-2 FIFA World Cup qualifying victory against France on 14 October 1981. Other famous Lansdowne Road wins include a 2-0 triumph over Bulgaria in October 1987 which paved the way for Ireland's first qualification for a major finals, the 1988 UEFA European Championship, while in September 2001, Jason McAteer's goal gave an Irish team reduced to ten men a 1-0 success over the Netherlands en route to qualification for the 2002 World Cup.
• The final international football match played at the old stadium also ended on a high note for the home side with a 5-0 win against San Marino on 15 November 2006. Fittingly, though, rugby union had the last hurrah, seeing out the old ground as it had opened it with Leinster playing Ulster in front of 48,000 spectators on 31 December 2006.
• Work began on the new venue in 2007. The south, east and west stands are to have four tiers of seating for spectators, while the north stand comprises just one low-level tier to reflect its proximity to local housing. Pitch floodlighting has been incorporated into these stands, while transport links to and from the ground have been improved. International football returned to the venue on 11 August 2010 when Ángel di María's 20th-minute goal earned Argentina a 1-0 friendly win against Ireland.
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