Belfast’s Boucher Road the new venue for Euro 2016 Fan Zone

Northern Ireland fans show their support towards the end of the match in the official fan zone at Titanic Belfast.
Northern Ireland fans show their support towards the end of the match in the official fan zone at Titanic Belfast.

Football fans have had their prayers answered by news that a Euro 2016 Fan Zone will be operating in Belfast for both the Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland games this weekend.

There were fears a suitable alternative to Titanic Belfast- that could hold up to 20,000 boisterous supporters - would not be found in time for Northern Ireland’s knockout stage match against Wales in Paris on Saturday.

The Titanic option proved popular during the group stage of the tournament but the Belsonic music festival is being held there on Saturday - and on Sunday when the Republic face France in Lyon.

On Thursday, Belfast City Council confirmed that the playing fields on the Boucher Road in the south of the city would be the new venue.

Announcing the decision, Belfast Lord Mayor Brian Kingston, said: “The Fan Zone at Titanic Quarter, operated by the organisers of the Belsonic festival, was a terrific success during the qualifying round. However, as it was known that the Titanic site would not be available past the qualifying rounds, the Council was working behind the scenes to identify a suitable alternative site.

“Boucher Road is a great site, accessible to all parts of the city, and beyond. By locating the Fan Zone here, the Council is ensuring as many fans as possible get the chance to continue to demonstrate their phenomenal support for both teams as they enter this crucial knock-out stage.”

Full details about gate opening times and entry terms will be published on the Belfast City Council website on Friday.