Ulster have revealed plans to expand the capacity at Ravenhill from 11,400 to 18,000 by the pre-season of 2014/15.
The £15 million redevelopment comes at an ideal time for a team on the up. Tickets for Ulster games are currently at a premium, with the team's unbeaten start to the season leading to frequent sell-outs.
The club is seeking a naming partner for the new-look stadium and is in discussion with a number of interested parties. By next June, new stands will go up at the Memorial and Aquinas ends before the existing main stand is ripped down and replaced.
The three new structures are set to transform Ravenhill, which was opened in 1923, into one of the most modern rugby grounds in Europe. Importantly, the new capacity will also surpass the threshold required to host a Heineken Cup quarter final or a RaboDirect PRO12 Final.
The new Memorial End stand will offer covered seating for approximately 2,400 people, with terracing for a further 1,350 fans with the new Aquinas stand set to be the family area of the ground. It will also become the Ulster Rugby senior squad's new training base.
"On behalf of Ulster Rugby, I would like to thank the minister and her department for releasing this funding," said Ulster chief executive Shane Logan.
"This investment will create a modern, state-of-the-art stadium with the highest standard of facilities for both supporters and players. The new Ravenhill will enhance the position of Ulster Rugby in the world game and will greatly benefit the development of rugby in the Province."