Mayo will actually get more tickets, not less, than last year for All-Ireland final
Although exact allocation is not yet fixed GAA insist season tickets will bring up total
Mayo fans will make up a fair proportion of this year’s All-Ireland final crowd after assurances that their allocation will be up on last year’s decider. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
Croke Park has clarified details of the ticket spread for the All-Ireland football final on Sunday week after Mayo expressed concerns that their allocation would be down on last year.
Mayo face Dublin in the senior final, their second successive appearance, having lost out to Donegal last year – while their minors will also be out on the same day, playing Tyrone.
Although there is no exact allocation as this stage, the GAA are satisfied Mayo will get what they are entitled to and, if anything, it should be up on last year.
“The specific amounts would vary slightly from year to year”, GAA head of media relations Alan Milton explained, “but of the 82,300, we know around 10,000 go to premium and corporate boxes, around 66,000 go for general distribution, and half of those, or 33,000, go to the participating counties, including the two minor finalists, which is this case also happen to be Mayo, against Tyrone.
“But the reality is Mayo will actually be getting a greater allocation of tickets for this year’s final, when the season ticket holders are factored in as well.
“In this case we’re talking about in or around 1,000 extra tickets, which go direct to the season ticket holders.
“You do see that with counties that maybe have a good run the year before, and expect to go as well again.
“With Mayo the uptake of season tickets was quite strong. We say it every year, that the season ticket is good value, and the best way to get your hands on all All-Ireland final ticket if your county gets that far.
“All season ticket holders, if they attend all their championship matches that way, are guaranteed a stand ticket for the lower Cusack Stand.
“It’s one of the reasons we promote the season ticket at the start of the season, because All-Ireland tickets, as everyone knows, don’t go on general sale.”
Mayo press officer Aiden McLoughlin had outlined concerns over the county’s allocation to the Western People:
“The amount of tickets that we got, in total this year, is not what we anticipated,” he said. “We’re actually down on what we got last year, even with the minors. I don’t anticipate that we will be getting anymore tickets down from Croke Park, and we’ve expressed our dissatisfaction with that”.
The confusion, however, is partly explained by the fact these season tickets are separate from the county board allocation.
Dublin would also have a larger number of clubs, although tickets are directed to the county board, and then it it’s to the clubs to distribute them.
Mayo, as it turned, got their hands on 14,746 tickets for last year’s final, which they lost to Donegal, and which indicates there is always a certain element of ticket exchange or swapping within the overall match allocation.
Interestingly, last Sunday’s drawn All-Ireland hurling final between Clare and Cork wasn’t the “virtual sell-out” normally associated with such finals: the given attendance of 81,651 fell short of the official Croke Park capacity of 82,300, despite reports of the high demand for tickets.
There is always a marginal shortfall in attendances because some tickets simply don’t make it to Croke Park on match day, although the football final has consistently drawn a crowd closer to the 82,300 capacity, thought to be explained by the greater spread of football counties prompting the greater demand.
This is reflected in the fact that in only two of the last 20 years has the hurling final attract a greater attendance than the football equivalent, however marginal.
Meanwhile, the final hurdle in the process to reappoint Jim McGuinness as Donegal football manager for a fourth season has been cleared, as clubs in the county agreed to defer 2014 the senior and intermediate championships until after the county exits the football championship.
The clubs voted 20-6 in favour at a special meeting in Ballybofey, and this should result in McGuinness now agreeing to another season.
Elsewhere, Paul Bealin was last night put before the Westmeath county board for ratification as their next football manager. The 1995 All-Ireland winner with Dublin, who previously managed Wexford and Carlow, was the preferred choice over outgoing manager Pat Flanagan.
Leitrim will also announce their new football manager tomorrow evening, with seven candidates interviewed, including the outgoing pair of Barney Breen and George Dugdale, who were forced to reapply for their job after two years in charge.
Finally, Aidan O’Shea (Mayo) and Tony Kelly (Clare) were named the GAA/GPA Players of the Month for August, in football and hurling respectively.
Both selections were chosen by the inter-county playing body, presented in recognition of the players’ outstanding contributions to their counties last month.