Dublin v Donegal/Tyrone v Mayo potential double-header may cause ticket scramble

Possible football quarter-final matchups will not result in fixture changes - the GAA insist

The GAA have dismissed the prospect of one of the All-Ireland football quarter-finals being moved to accommodate a bumper crowd at Croke Park the weekend after next.

Depending on results this Saturday in the final round of the qualifiers, it is possible that the following Saturday could see a double header of Dublin v Donegal and Tyrone v Mayo at headquarters, leading to four of the biggest supporter bases in the country looking for tickets.

Given that Kilkenny will play Waterford the following day in the All-Ireland hurling semi-final - a fixture that drew a mere 41,112 to Croke Park at the equivalent stage last year - it's not beyond reason that one of the football games could slide in alongside it to satisfy demand. But yesterday, the association clarified that though the idea had been considered, it was ultimately rejected.

“There’s no chance whatsoever,” said a spokesman.”Realistically, if we had a stadium of unlimited capacity, you would probably not be far off the 80,000 mark for games with those teams at the quarter-final stage. If it was at semi-final stage, that would be a different situation.

“But on a Saturday in a quarter-final, you’re probably looking in or around capacity. That’s our call on it. We saw the possibility of this a week or more ago and we think it would fall at just around capacity. The only way that upcoming fixtures could potentially spill in that direction is in the event of draws.”

If Cork and Mayo win their Round 4B qualifiers, there will be a draw about half an hour after full-time - most likely on RTE Radio One - and tickets will be on sale by nine o’clock on Saturday night. Otherwise, since Donegal can’t meet Tyrone and Westmeath can’t meet Dublin, tickets for the quarter-finals will go on sale at full-time in the second game.

Malachy Clerkin

Malachy Clerkin

Malachy Clerkin is a sports writer with The Irish Times