REDEVELOPMENT works at Lansdowne Road are now 10 weeks ahead of schedule and running to cost, according to developers.
The concrete shell of the towering 50,000-seater stadium was completed about two weeks ago, a crucial turning point described by its developers as the 'milestone' stage of construction works.
In the coming months, contractors on site at the south Dublin project are set to rise in number from around 600 to 900 as 'fit-out' staff begin the next phases of construction.
Ireland football team manager Giovanni Trapattoni was just one of many guests given the grand tour of the ongoing works in Ballsbridge in recent weeks.
The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) is still in the process of showing potential clients premium seats in the ground while the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) has completed the sale of its 10,000 allocation.
The stadium is now a complete concrete shell with temporary steel support structures in place to take the weight of the curved roof before completion.
Hundreds of contractors are working within strict daytime hours to complete the ground by its April 2010 deadline.
In recent weeks engineers employed by the Lansdowne Road Stadium Development Company (LRSDC) have visited both the Wembley stadium and Arsenal football club's Emirates ground in London to learn from the experience of their recent construction.
"It's not secret. In every stadium around the world, things go right, things go wrong," said Paul Charles, technical services manager at the ground. "If you can imagine a guy at the new Olympic stadium in London, they will ask us what went right and what went wrong."
But while shared knowledge is of paramount importance in the industry, so far it seems not a lot has gone wrong in south Dublin.
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