In 1913, the GAA came into exclusive ownership of the Jones’ Road sports ground when they purchased it for £3,500 from Frank Dineen. The ground was then renamed Croke Park in honour of Archbishop Thomas Croke, one of the GAA’s first patrons.
In 1917, rubble from the Easter Rising was used to construct a grassy hill on the railway end of Croke Park. This terrace is known as Hill 16.
A dark day for Croke Park came on ‘Bloody Sunday’, November 21, 1920 when 14 people were killed in Croke Park as they attended a challenge football match between Dublin and Tipperary. British officers opened fire on the crowd after spies working for Michael Collins shot dead 14 British intelligence spies that morning. The Hogan Stand was named after one of those killed that day, Tipperary captain Michael Hogan.
The largest attendance at Croke Park was in 1961 when 90,556 watched Down play Offaly in the All Ireland Football Final.
Talks of a redeveloped Croke Park began in the 1980s and the design for an 80,000 capacity stadium was completed in 1991.
Construction of the final phase of the new stadium began in September 2003 and involved the redevelopment of the Nally Stand and Hill 16.
In January 2006, it was announced the GAA had reached agreement with the Football Association of Ireland and Irish Rugby Football Union to stage Six Nations games and soccer internationals at Croke Park.
Croke Park is the fourth largest stadium in Western Europe behind Barcelona’s Nou Camp (99,786), Wembley in London (90,000), and the Bernabeu in Madrid (85,454).